Asia

Pakistan Quetta bomb attack kills police

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Media captionThe vehicle carrying security personnel was destroyed by the blast

A Taliban bomb planted in a rickshaw has killed at least 13 people and injured 11 others in Quetta in south-west Pakistan, officials say.

The bomb targeted a truck carrying paramilitary soldiers - at least 10 of the dead were security personnel.

The Taliban said they carried out the attack to avenge the recent killing of several militants from the north-west.

Quetta is the capital of Balochistan province, which is plagued by Taliban, sectarian and separatist violence.

Security boosted

"The target was a truck of Balochistan Constabulary which was carrying the security personnel," police official Fayyaz Sumbal said.

Mr Sumbal said Thursday's explosion, which destroyed the police vehicle as it travelled through the outskirts of the city, was caused by a remote-controlled bomb.

One eyewitness, Irshad Ali, told the Associated Press news agency that the blast "was so loud, we thought something had fallen from the sky".

The bomb completely destroyed the police vehicle, leaving little more than twisted sheets of metal.

The Pakistan government boosted security in Quetta earlier this year, after a series of attacks on the city's Shia minority.

The province of Balochistan, bordering Afghanistan and Iran, faces threats on many fronts.

It is the site of a decade-long separatist insurgency that has left thousands dead. The Taliban have also become increasingly active in the region and Sunni militant groups continue to launch deadly attacks against the Shia minority.

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