File photo shows the Friendship Gate at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Chaman region of Balochistan.—File Photo
CHAMAN: At least six officials, including an Afghan border commander, were killed and 19 others injured Friday when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border near Chaman region of Balochistan.
Pakistani security officials, who did not want to be named, told Dawn.com that the suicide bomber blew up his detonative while targeting the vehicle of Afghan border forces.
“Our forces miraculously survived since the blast happened at Friendship Gate at Pak-Afghan border,” the source said.
According to reports, the incident happened on the Afghan side of the border.
An Afghan border force official, who did not want to be named, said six Afghan border security men were killed and another 19 sustained injuries. He confirmed that Afghan border commander Akhtar Muhammad had also been killed in the explosion.
Afghan security officials said Akhtar Muhammad was the intended target of the suicide attack.
The condition of five of the injured persons was stated to be serious and they were rushed to Quetta's bordering town of Chaman for medical treatment.
Frontier Corps sources, however, said that some Pakistanis were also among the injured.
The Pak-Afghan border at Chaman was immediately closed following the blast.
Later, FC persons were called at the border to control the situation. Moreover, security was tightened on both sides of the border to avert another untoward incident.
Chaman is a small town in the southwestern province of Balochistan and is one of the two main crossing points for supplies for American and Nato troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Balochistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan, suffers from a local separatist insurgency. Apart from a long-running nationalist movement, there has also been an alarming rise in sectarian terrorism in the province recently, with ethnic and religious minorities often targeted by militants.