One dead, eight injured in Pakistan blast: Officials

QUETTA, PAKISTAN (TIP): A bomb in restive southwest Pakistan on December 4 killed at least one person and wounded eight others, including two schoolchildren, officials said. The blast on the outskirts of Quetta, the capital of southwestern Baluchistan province, came during the morning rush hour. “A man riding a bicycle was killed in the explosion on the Sirki road, as eight others including two schoolchildren aged 10-12 years, were injured in the incident,” Akbar Hussain Durrani, the home secretary of the province, told AFP. “The school van these children were boarding also damaged.” Durrani said that the target of the bomb, which was planted in a car, was not immediately clear but security forces patrol in the area. No security official was hurt in the explosion. Another senior police official, Aitezaz Goraya, also confirmed the blast and toll.

Nobody immediately claimed responsibility, but Baluch separatist rebels active in the area have recently intensified attacks against security forces, ethnic minorities and outsiders. Baluchistan, Pakistan’s largest but least developed and most sparsely populated province, is also racked by Islamist militants, banditry and sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shiites. In October the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said that more than 300,000 people, including minority Shiites and Hindus, had left Baluchistan over the past 10 years due to rising unrest.

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