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Troubled Barkhan rocked by bomb blast killing four, injuring 14 in Balochistan 

File photo of an attack in Balochistan's capital Quetta (Photo: IANS)

Balochistan’s Barkhan was in the news once again within a week after an improvised explosive device (IED) planted on a motorcycle exploded, killing four people and injuring 14 on Sunday morning.

None of the Baloch rebel groups or the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the blast. Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been under intensified violence as the TTP has been targeting Pakistani police and other security forces after peace talks failed between the government and the TTP.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the incident as well and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured

Similarly, Balochistan has been in turmoil with mass agitations by people as well as regular attacks by the Baloch nationalists on Pakistani security forces. There have been reports that the TTP and the Baloch armed groups have joined hands against the Pakistani State despite differences in their opinions and objectives.

Barkhan was in the limelight last week after people found three bodies in a well near the residence of Balochistan minister for Communications and Works Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran. Of the three, the body a young woman who had been raped, tortured and shot in the head three times remained unrecognised, while the other two were identified as sons of a guard who worked with Khetran.

In a separate incident in Balochistan, a magnetic bomb attached to a police vehicle killed two police officers and injured another two in Khuzdar on Saturday. The bomb exploded when the policemen were on patrol duty.

The magnetic bomb was blown up through remote control. Senior police officials and paramilitary forces rushed to the spot. The area was cordoned off and a search operation launched around Khuzdar town to trace the militants.

“It was a magnetic bomb that had been attached to the police vehicle by unidentified people and detonated with a remote control,” Fahad Khosa, Khuzdar’s senior superintendent of police, told Pakistani newspaper Dawn.

It is not often that Baloch fighters have used magnetic bombs in their nationalist campaign against the Pakistani establishment.

In October 2021, journalist Shahid Zehri was killed when a magnetic bomb attached underneath his car exploded in the town of Hub, Balochistan, near Karachi. The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility for the attack.

In another incident in February 2022, Agha Habib Shah, a tribal leader and member of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) was killed and his guards injured when a magnetic bomb inside his car blew up on the Quetta-Karachi highway. This incident too happened in the Balochistan town of Hub with the BLA claiming responsibility again.

Also read: After Pakistani military and Chinese nationals, Balochistan rebels target notorious ‘Death Squad’ leaders