Suicide bombing at southwest Pakistan checkpoint kills 3
A suicide bomber detonated his explosives on Sunday near a security checkpoint in restive southwestern Pakistan, killing at least three paramilitary troops and wounding 15 others, police said.
Senior police officer Azhar Akram said the attacker had walked toward the checkpoint manned by the paramilitary Frontier Corps on Quetta-Mastung Road, some 25 kilometers south of Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province. He said body parts were found at a distance from the security post after the bombing. Akram said some of the wounded were in critical condition and the death toll could rise.
Banned militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, also known as the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the morning attack. It was the first time TTP claimed an attack on Pakistani security forces since the Taliban – a separate organization – took control of neighboring Afghanistan.
"Condemn the TTP suicide attack on FC checkpost in Mastung Road, Quetta," Prime Minister Imran Khan said in a tweet.
A senior Pakistani official said last week that Islamabad is worried about militant fighters from the Pakistani Taliban group crossing from Afghanistan and launching lethal attacks on its territory.
Baluchistan has also seen a low-level insurgency by Baluch separatist groups for nearly two decades calling for independence for the gas- and mineral- rich province. Most attacks on security forces in Baluchistan in the recent past have been claimed by Baluch separatist groups Baluch Liberation Army and Baluch Liberation Front.
Baluchistan, bordering Iran and Afghanistan, is a key province in southwest Pakistan, where China has been working on projects related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The projects, including road construction, power plants and agricultural development, have cost billions of dollars.
China has in recent years also played a key role in developing the deep-water port of Gwadar on the Arabian Sea. But there have been attacks on Pakistanis and Chinese working on the economic corridor projects.