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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Islamic State claims responsibility for suicide bombing in southwest Pakistan

"ISIS claims suicide attack in Sibi, Balochistan," tweeted Rita Katz, director of the SITE Intel Group that tracks Islamist extremists.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing attack in southwestern Pakistan that killed nine policemen on Monday, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.

A suicide bomber rammed a motorcycle into a police truck in in Sibbi, a city some 160 km (100 miles) east of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province.

Read more: 9 dead in suicide attack near police van in Balochistan

“ISIS claims suicide attack in Sibi, Balochistan,” tweeted Rita Katz, director of the SITE Intel Group that tracks Islamist extremists.

Hospital officials said at least 7 policemen were wounded in the attack, the latest in a series targeting police personnel in Pakistan.

The recent attack comes as ethnic Baloch guerrillas have been fighting the government for decades, accusing it of exploiting Balochistan’s rich gas and mineral resources.

The blast happened in Balochistan province when the officers were returning to the provincial capital Quetta after policing a festival.

Images show a police truck crushed and overturned, with blood stains on the ground.

This is the second attack on security forces in Balochistan within 24 hours. No group has claimed responsibility.

Kachhi district’s Deputy Police Commissioner Sami Agha confirmed to the BBC that it was a suicide attack.

Reuters reported that the attacker rammed a motorbike into the truck.

Read more: Balochistan minister’s house raided after Barkhan murders spark outrage

The area has been cordoned off and a bomb disposal team is on site to gather evidence, authorities say.

The Balochistan government has condemned the attack and said that an investigation is under way.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, has said those behind the attack were trying to destabilise the country.

He also tweeted his condolences, describing the officers as “heroes of the nation” who had been “martyred”.

Balochistan’s Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo said: “All such conspiracies against peace in the province will be made unsuccessful with the public’s support.”