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Bombing Targets Pakistani Security Forces, Killing At Least Seven


Pakistani officials say a bomb attack on the outskirts of the southwestern city of Quetta has killed at least six members of the country's security forces and one civilian.

The Pakistani Taliban, a militant group fighting Pakistan's government, claimed responsibility for the attack that targeted a truck carrying police officers on the Quetta-Sibbi Road early on October 18.

Quetta police chief Abdur Razzaq Cheema said that 22 people were also wounded in the blast, several critically.

He added that an investigation was under way to determine whether it was a suicide bombing or the explosives-laden vehicle was detonated remotely.

Dead bodies and the injured were rushed to the Civil Hospital in Quetta and the site of the explosion was cordoned off by security forces soon after the blast.

In a separate attack in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan Province, officials said that police inspector Abdus Salam was killed in a drive-by shooting as he was on his way to work.

The militant extremist group Lashkar-e Jhangvi reportedly claimed to be behind the shooting.

Provincial Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti said that "the war against terrorism is not over."

"Balochistan is on the forefront of this fight and we will not stop until there is not a single terrorist left in the area," he added.

Resource-rich Balochistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran, has been plagued by sectarian violence, Islamist militant attacks, and a separatist insurgency that has led to thousands of casualties since 2004.

Also on October 18 in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, authorities said that two security personnel were killed when the vehicle they were travelling in was hit by a roadside bomb.

A local commander of the Pakistani Taliban, Sharyar Mahsud, was quoted as saying that his men were responsible for the attack in Bannu district.

With reporting by Reuters, Dawn, and AP
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