International

Pakistan: 9 Policemen Killed, 13 Injured In Blast In Balochistan, Officials Suspect Suicide Bombing

Balochistan province of Pakistan has a long-running separatist and nationalist insurgency. Multiple groups are active in Balochistan that historically spanned across present-day Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran.

Multiple groups are active in Balochistan that historically spanned across present-day Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran.
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In the latest attack on security forces in Pakistan, at least nine security personnel were killed and 13 were injured in a blast in Pakistan's restine Balochistan province on Monday.

The blast occured near the truck of Balochistan Constabulary (BC) personnel on the Kambri bridge on the Quetta-Sibi highway, the Express Tribune newspaper reported. Kachhi Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Mehmood Notezai said that the preliminary evidence suggests it was a suicide attack.

However, the exact nature of the blast could be ascertained after investigations.

Notezai said that a bomb disposal team reached the site of the incident and the area is being searched after the explosion.

At least nine personnel of the Balochistan Constabulary were killed and 13 were injured in the bomb attack in Bolan, Notezai said.

So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

As soon as the incident was reported, local administration and security forces reached the spot.

The Balochistan Constabulary (BC) personnel were returning from duty in Sibi Mela when they were targeted. The truck overturned due to the intensity of the explosion, the report said.

The bodies and injured personnel were shifted to Sibi district where they were provided medical aid. The condition of some of the injured is reportedly critical.

The BC is a department of the provincial police force that provides security at important events and in sensitive areas, including jails.

Balochistan province of Pakistan has a long-running separatist and nationalist insurgency. Multiple groups are active in Balochistan that historically spanned across present-day Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran.

The think tank Counter Extremism Project (CEP) notes, "Multiple separatist groups seek independence for the Balochistan region in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. After Pakistan’s 1947 partition from India, Balochistan was divided between Pakistan’s Balochistan province, Afghanistan’s Balochistan region, and Iran’s Sistan province. The largest of these separatist movements is the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), an armed separatist group based in Pakistan’s Balochistan region with activities also in Afghanistan and Iran. The BLA seeks to create an independent Balochistan nation in the Baloch regions of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran."

There are other Baloch groups as well, such as the Balochistan Republican Army and the United Baloch Army that merged in January 2022 to form the Balochistan Nationalist Army (BNA), according to CEP.

(With PTI inputs)

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