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An explosion targeting a security forces vehicle in Balochistan's Harnai district on Monday evening resulted in the martyrdom of six security personnel and injuries to three others.

The injured were rushed to Quetta for medical treatment.

A senior administration officer, who declined to be named, told Dawn.com that miscreants had targeted a Frontier Corps (FC) vehicle with an improvised explosive device (IED) in the Khost area of Harnai district.

The FC personnel were on a routine patrol when they were targeted.

The officer said the explosion had severely damaged their vehicle.

Soon after the blast, a large contingent of security forces personnel rushed to the spot for rescue efforts.

An investigation into the incident is underway.

Chief Minister Balochistan Nawab Sanaullah Zehri strongly condemned the blast and directed law enforcers to bring the perpetrators to book.

"We will not spare the elements involved in this act," the chief minister said in a statement issued to the press after the incident.

The attack, which came as the nation celebrated Independence Day — Pakistan's secession from India and freedom from British Rule — renewed fears of instability in the province.

Harnai borders Quetta district, where an explosion just last Saturday, August 12, had resulted in the martyrdom of eight army personnel. The explosion had targeted a vehicle carrying military personnel.

“A man riding a motorbike came close to the army truck and blew himself up,” a senior official of the Bomb Disposal Squad had told Dawn.

The Quetta explosion, which occurred near Quetta's Pishin Stop, had claimed a total of 15 lives and left at least 32 injured.

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military's media wing, had said that an on-duty security vehicle was targeted in the blast, adding that 10 security officials were also among those injured in the attack.

"[The] COAS [Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa] condemns [the] terrorist attack on Army truck in Quetta, an attempt to mar Independence Day festivities," the ISPR had tweeted.

At least 14 people ─ including seven policemen ─ lost their lives, while 19 others were injured in a suicide blast that shook Shuhada Chowk in Quetta's Gulistan Road area in June.

Earlier in June, three security officials were injured after an improvised explosive device (IED) seemingly targeted their vehicle in the Johan area of Kalat.

Days later, two navy sailors were martyred and at least three others were wounded when their vehicle was attacked in the Jiwani area of Gwadar district.

Two Chinese nationals, a man and a woman, teaching at a private language school in Quetta were kidnapped from the Jinnah Town neighbourhood on May 24 by gunmen dressed as police officials.

The couple were later killed by the militant Islamic State group, which claimed responsibility for their abduction.