At least 6 policemen martyred in suicide attack targeting police van in Quetta

Published April 24, 2018
Security officials cordon off the site of a suicide bombing attack in Quetta. —AFP
Security officials cordon off the site of a suicide bombing attack in Quetta. —AFP
Security officials cordon off the site of a suicide bombing attack in Quetta. —AFP
Security officials cordon off the site of a suicide bombing attack in Quetta. —AFP

At least six policemen were martyred and seven others were injured when a suicide bomber targeted a police van on Airport Road in Quetta on Tuesday evening, Quetta DIG Razzaq Cheema told DawnNewsTV.

Moreover, two suicide bombers also attacked a Frontier Corps (FC) checkpost in Quetta's Mian Ghundi area, however, the FC personnel killed the attackers following an exchange of fire, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

“The first suicide bomber blew himself up outside a FC checkpost in the outskirts of Quetta city after he was spotted by the guards,” Balochistan Home Secretary Ghulam Ali Baloch told AFP.

“Just in the next moments, another bomber who was covering the first attacker exchanged fire with the security forces and later blew himself up.” Some eight paramilitary officials were wounded in this attack, he added.

Around half an hour later a third bomber drove his motorcycle into a police truck on a road leading to the airport, killing at least six policemen, Baloch added.

Moazam Jah Ansari, Quetta's police chief, confirmed the attacks and said the bombing of the police truck was so powerful that the vehicle overturned.

It was not clear whether the third bomber was wearing an explosive vest or if the bike was filled with explosives.

“Seven policemen were injured in this attack,” he said, adding that the three blasts may have been coordinated.

Policeman walks past the vehicle targeted by suicide bomber. —AP
Policeman walks past the vehicle targeted by suicide bomber. —AP

Police and FC personnel rushed to the blast site and cordoned off the area. No militant group has so far claimed responsibility for the attacks.

In January this year, at least seven people were killed on Quetta's Zarghoon Road when a suicide bomber rammed into a parked police truck, injuring 16 people, police said.

Quetta's security challenges

Balochistan has faced a number of security challenges in recent months, with security personnel in the province often being targeted in roadside explosions and suicide attacks.

Five people were killed and 27 others had suffered injuries in a suicide attack on a convoy of a paramilitary force in the Sariab Road area of Quetta in November last year.

In October, seven policemen belonging to the Rapid Response Group (RRG) of Balochistan Police and a passer-by were killed in a suicide blast, also in Sariab area.

Fifteen people, including eight soldiers, were martyred when a suicide bomber targeted a military truck near the Pishin bus stop in Quetta in August.

Earlier in June, 14 people ─ including seven policemen ─ lost their lives in a suicide blast that shook Shuhada Chowk in Quetta's Gulistan Road area.

Balochistan has been experiencing incidents of violence and targeted killings for over a decade. More than 1,400 incidents targeting the minority Shia and Hazara community have taken place in the province during the past 15 years.

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