12 killed, 20 injured as blast hits army truck in SW Pakistan

Explosion in Quetta Explosion in pakistan pakistan blast Quetta blast

A statement by the Pakistani military said the explosion targeted an on-duty vehicle and set several other vehicles on fire. "Incendiary explosives were used in the attack", it added. As a result nearby vehicles caught fire.

The powerful blast hit as a paramilitary patrol passed by on the road, Baluchistan provincial home minister Sarfraz Bugti said, adding the patrol may have been the target.

"The attack was aimed to lessen our passion to celebrate Pakistan's independence", the COAS said. He said it was not immediately clear if it was a suicide blast or a remotely controlled explosive device. However, sources cited by local news channels, claimed that the attack was a terror operation executed by the insurgent outfits targeting the vehicle of security personnel.

In August previous year, at least 74 people were killed in a suicide attack on the city's Civil Hospital, while another 60 were killed in an attack on a police academy two months later. Attacks have also been reported by groups related to the Taliban.

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Bugti workers were busy extinguishing the blaze.

Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa condemned the terrorist attack on the army truck in Quetta which he called "an attempt to mar Independence Day festivity" in the country.

"Our resolve won't succumb to any challenge", Bajwa was quoted as saying in an official tweet from a top military spokesman. However, military intelligence officials denied the Wadh network exists and the father of the alleged leader says his son is not involved with militants attacking the state.

Baluchistan borders Iran and Afghanistan and has been the scene of a low level insurgency by Baloch separatists groups who want a greater share of the province's mineral and gas resources.

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