KARACHI, Feb 5 (PTI): At least five people, mostly policemen, were injured in an explosion in Quetta on Sunday in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province, in yet another instance of systematic attacks targeting security officials in the country orchestrated by the outlawed Pakistani Taliban.
The explosion took place at Quetta Police Lines Area, and the injured, who are mostly policemen, were shifted to the Civil Hospital in the city. Police officials said the site was cordoned off.
It’s not immediately clear the nature of the explosion.
The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the attack.
It stated that security officials were targeted in the blast.
Meanwhile, a Pakistan Super League (PSL) exhibition match featuring high-profile players like captain Babar Azam and former all-rounder Shahid Afridi, being played at the Nawab Akbar Bugti stadium in Quetta had to be halted briefly due to the blast.
None of the players were injured, officials said.
The latest incident comes days after a Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up during the afternoon prayers in a Peshawar mosque, killing 101 people and injuring more than 200 others.
Pakistan has been hit by a wave of terrorism, mostly in the country’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, but also in Balochistan and the Punjab town of Mianwali, which borders the restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
During the Apex Committee meeting on Friday, Pakistan’s civil and military leadership decided to seek Afghan Taliban chief Haibuttallah Akhundzada’s intervention to control the TTP, according to The Express Tribune newspaper.
In November last year, the TTP called off an indefinite ceasefire agreed with the government in June 2022 and ordered its militants to carry out attacks on the security forces.
The TTP, which is believed to have close links to al-Qaeda, has threatened to target top leaders of Prime Minister Sharif’s PML-N and foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s PPP if the ruling coalition continued to implement strict measures against the militants.
Pakistan hoped that the Afghan Taliban after coming to power would stop the use of their soil against Pakistan by expelling the TTP operatives but they have apparently refused to do so at the cost of straining ties with Islamabad.
The TTP, set up as an umbrella group of several militant outfits in 2007, called off a ceasefire with the federal government and ordered its militants to stage terrorist attacks across the country.
The group, which is believed to be close to Al-Qaeda, has been blamed for several deadly attacks across Pakistan, including an attack on army headquarters in 2009, assaults on military bases, and the 2008 bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad.
In 2014, the Pakistani Taliban stormed the Army Public School in the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing at least 150 people, including 131 students.