Suspected suicide bomber on Monday morning rammed an explosive laden motorcycle into a truck conveying Balochistan Constabulary Soldiers around Sibi, a city which is about 160 kilometers east of Quetta in Kacchi district of Balochistan province in Pakistan, killing nine soldiers and causing injuries to 16 others.
It was gathered that the attack occured at about 9:45 a.m in the Southwestern Pakistan.
The suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden bike in a truck carrying Balochistan Constabulary soldiers in Kacchi district with no group claiming responsibility of the bombing that comes amid an increase in attacks against Pakistan’s police after a failed peace talks between the Pakistan government and the Taliban in November, 2022.
International news agency, AP, shows a photograph showing paramilitary soldiers and volunteers gathered at the site of the suicide bombing in Sibi, a district in the Pakistan’s Balochistan province, on March 6, 2023.
Authority said at least nine security officers were killed and 16 others injured in the blast in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province which is the latest in a string of recent attacks in the South Asian nation.
Kachhi police senior superintendent, Mehmood Notezai, said a vehicle carrying policemen was targeted in the province’s Sibi district.
“Preliminary evidence suggests it was a suicide attack,” he said, adding an investigation was underway, according to Arab News media.
Arab News media reported that, Official of Sibi Combined Military Hospital Administration reportedly said, three of the injured officers remain in critical condition and receiving treatment.
Monday suicide blast is the third major attack against Pakistani security personnel in recent months.
According to Kacchi Deputy Commissioner, Samiullah Agha, the attack occurred when the personnel were heading back to the provincial capital of Quetta after discharging security duties for the three-day Sibi Mela, or Sibi Fair, that began on March 3, 2023.
“Nine soldiers of the Balochistan Constabulary force were killed in the attack and nine injured after their truck was hit near the Kumbri bridge that connects Sibi with Kachi district,” Agha said.
“Officials of the bomb disposal squad confirmed that it was a suicide attack, Agha said, adding the incident occurred at 9:45 a.m in the morning.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the attack and directed authorities to provide best treatment to the injured soldiers.
Adding, “Terrorism in Balochistan is part of enemies’ agenda who have been attempting to destabilize Pakistan,” Sharif said in a statement.
“The nation salutes the sacrifices of our martyrs. The state will rid the country of the menace of terrorism.”
Separatist groups have also targeted Pakistani forces in Balochistan that has been the scene of a low-level insurgency by small separatist groups fighting for independence from the central government in Islamabad. The separatists complain of discrimination and demand a fairer share of the province’s resources.
Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo said the attack on Balochistan Constabulary was an “attempt to keep Balochistan backward and deprived.”
“The cowardly terrorists have been attempting to achieve their vicious goals by carrying out such attacks on our brave forces,” Bizenjo said in a statement.
“Balochistan Inspector General of Police (IGP) Abdul Khaliq Sheikh has vowed to continue action against militants and directed officials to submit a report on the attack, according to a police statement.
Balochistan, Pakistan’s largest province by area, has experienced decades-long insurgency by separatists who demand independence from the country, blaming the state’s monopoly and exploitation of the region’s mineral resources.
It would be recalled that at least four persons were killed and 14 others injured in February after militants stormed the police headquarters in the southern city of Karachi.
Pakistan’s Taliban, known as Tehreek Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed responsibility for the attack, according to spokesman Mohammad Khorasani.
Earlier In January, at least 100 people mostly police officials – died after a suicide bomb ripped through a mosque in the northwestern city of Peshawar, marking one of the deadliest attacks in the country in years.
TTP officials initially and reportedly claimed the blast was “revenge” for the death of a TTP militant last year before the militant group’s main spokesperson later denied the group was involved in the attack.