Two Killed As Suicide Bomb Blast Hits Pakistan Police Vehicle
Story Code : 1027653
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) armed group claimed responsibility for the attack, two days after announcing an end to a ceasefire agreed with the government, according to Aljazeera.
Quetta’s Deputy Inspector General (DIG) police Ghulam Azfar Mahesar told reporters the vehicle that was targeted was carrying security personnel who were deployed to protect polio vaccination campaign workers in the capital of Pakistan’s Balochistan province.
Mahesar said the incident in Buleli district wounded at least 24 people, 20 of whom are policemen.
Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo condemned the attack and pledged to counter the “cowardly acts”.
“All those involved in this incident and their facilitators will be brought under the law,” he said.
In a statement on Monday, the TTP had asked its combatants to carry out attacks across Pakistan, saying the attack in Baluchistan targeted police to avenge the killing of their former spokesperson, Abdul Wali. He was widely known as Omar Khalid Khurasani and was killed in a bombing in Afghanistan’s Paktika province in August. His death was a heavy blow to the group.
The attack on police came amid a spike in new polio cases among children. The latest vaccination campaign is the sixth such drive this year and will last for five days, aiming to inoculate children under the age of 5 in high-risk areas, ABC reported.
The drive is aimed at Islamabad and in the high-risk districts in eastern Punjab and southwestern Baluchistan province, where Monday's attack took place. It killed at least two people, including a police officer and a child. A similar campaign will be launched in the northwest in the first week of December.
Pakistani authorities have been launching such campaigns regularly despite attacks on workers and police assigned to inoculation drives.
Militants falsely claim that vaccination campaigns are a Western conspiracy to sterilize children. Since April, Pakistan has registered 20 new polio cases, which can cause severe paralysis in children.
Pakistan came close to eradicating polio last year, when only one case was reported.
Currently, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the last two countries in which polio has not been eliminated.