Conflicts & War

Local politician among 7 killed in landmine blast in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan

Islamabad, Aug 8 (EFE).- A landmine explosion in Pakistan’s volatile Balochistan province has killed at least seven people, including a local politician, an official said Tuesday.

Amjad Soomro, the top district officer in Panjgur of the restive southwestern province, said suspected militants triggered the explosion remotely on Monday night.

The incident occurred as Ishaq Yaqoob, the chairman of a local council, was returning from a wedding ceremony in Panjgur.

The Panjgur deputy commissioner confirmed that all the deceased were relatives of Yaqoob, who was associated with the Balochistan Awami Party.

Soomro explained that the impact of the blast was so severe that the faces of four victims were unidentifiable due to burns, causing difficulties for their family members in recognizing them.

This is not the first time tragedy has struck Yaqoob’s family in Balochistan which has battled years of insurgency by separatist groups.

His father, Yaqoob Balagatri, and 10 of his associates were killed in the same area in September 2014. The banned Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) claimed responsibility for that attack.

As of now, no group has claimed responsibility for the landmine explosion on Monday night.

Pakistan has been witnessing a rise in incidents related to militancy across the country, particularly in the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, which share a border with Afghanistan.

On July 12, nine soldiers were killed in an attack on an army camp in Zhob in Balochistan, and three militants were gunned down in a retaliatory strike.

Three soldiers were killed the same day in a separate attack in the Sui area of the troubled Balochistan province.

The foreign ministry said on Monday that the attackers involved in the Zhob incident were Afghan nationals. This information was shared with the Afghan Taliban government.

“We have identified that the individuals who are involved in the Zhob terror attack. These were Afghan nationals, and our concern in this regard has been conveyed to the Afghan authorities,” ministry spokesperson Mumtaz Baloch said during her weekly briefing.

Pakistan’s army chief, Gen Asim Munir, expressed concerns Monday about the “sanctuaries available to banned outfits and liberty of action they enjoy on Afghan soil.” EFE


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