—File Photo

QUETTA: A bomb killed four policemen and wounded 14 others in Pakistan's troubled southwestern province of Balochistan on Tuesday, police said.

The incident took place near the town of Turbat, more than 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) west of Quetta, the capital of the oil and gas rich province.

“An improvised explosive device exploded near one of the trucks carrying police personnel, killing four of them,” senior local police official Farooq Faiz told AFP.

“Police reinforcements were being sent to Turbat to provide security to an upcoming religious congregation,” he added.

Two of the 14 injured officers were in a critical condition, he said.

Another local police official Shamim Ahmad confirmed the incident and casualties.

Police and security forces are frequently attacked in insurgency-plagued Balochistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran and is one of the most deprived areas of Pakistan.

There was no claim of responsibility for the latest incident but the province suffers from Taliban attacks and is also a flashpoint for sectarian violence involving Sunni and Shia Muslims that has left thousands of people dead since the late 1980s.

Baloch rebels rose up in 2004, demanding political autonomy and a greater share of profits from the oil, gas and mineral resources in the region.