Violence in Pakistan, 17 killed

As Pakistan prepared to celebrate the Eid festival, violence has escalated in Balochistan and Sindh provinces.

Islamabad: At least 17 people have been killed in a suicide attack targeting security forces and several other incidents of violence in Pakistan`s troubled Balochistan and Sindh provinces, officials said on Saturday.

In Sharifabad area of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a Frontier Corps check post, killing five people, including three soldiers.

"The paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) soldiers posted at the check post stopped a suspicious looking Toyota car for security check when it entered the city late Friday," an FC spokesman, Ahmed Baig, said.

During questioning, the driver blew himself up, killing three soldiers and two officials of the military intelligence, he said.

There was no clue about the identity of the driver as he was blown into pieces.

Several persons were also injured by the powerful explosion. Witnesses said the blast shook nearby buildings.

Law enforcement agencies cordoned off the area and found three grenades and a pistol at the site of the blast.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

"There is a possibility that the explosives-laden car was being brought into Quetta to carry out some terrorist activity in the city during the Eid holidays," the FC spokesman said.

He said the soldiers laid down their lives and prevented a major act of terrorism.

In Karachi, the capital of Sindh, a fresh wave of violence erupted late last night when five men eating at a hotel were gunned down, while seven others were killed in different areas of the port city. "The five people were killed while they were sitting outside the hotel by gunmen on motorbikes near Disco mor," a police official said.

The seven others killed included two activists of the Mutthaida-e-Qaumi Movement (MQM), officials said.

On Thursday night, the provincial secretary general of the Awami National Party, Bashir Jan, also came under attack in the city but escaped unhurt, while his driver and a passerby were wounded.

As Pakistan prepared to celebrate the Eid festival, violence has escalated in both provinces.


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