Crime & Justice

Suicide bomber kills 2, injures 28 in Pakistan

Islamabad, Nov 30 (EFE).- A suicide bomber crashed his explosive-laden car into a police truck escorting a polio vaccination team in Pakistan’s Quetta on Wednesday, killing a child and one officer, officials said.

Police said the truck carried cops to guard the vaccination team in Kuchlak near the provincial capital.

The dead included a policeman, one child, and a suspected suicide bomber, who allegedly belonged to the banned Pakistani Taliban militant group, or Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Police officer Muhammed Ramzan said 22 cops were among the injured in the blast that took place at 8.30 am when the Balochistan constabulary truck was on its way to Kuchlak to provide security for polio vaccination) teams.

“One policeman and one child were martyred,” Ramzan, an officer at the Quetta police headquarters, told EFE.

He said three vehicles were hit by the car carrying an estimated 20 to 25 kg of explosives.

The official said the injured were moved to the Civil Hospital Quetta.

Prime minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the attack and ordered a probe.

“Polio officials are performing this duty without caring about their lives to eliminate this crippling disease from the country, for which I pay tribute to them,” said the prime minister.

The banned TTP claimed responsibility for the attack.

“On Wednesday morning, a mujahid (fighter) of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan attacked a police convoy with a car bomb on the road near Baleli customs in Quetta,” a TTP statement said.

The blast comes two days after the militant group called off its ceasefire with the government.

Anti-polio vaccination campaign started in 37 districts of the country on Monday.

In Balochistan, six high-risk districts have been selected to administer the anti-polio drops to around one million children, an official statement said.

In the five-day campaign, more than 13.5 million children are being immunized against the crippling virus.

Militants, including the Taliban, regularly attack polio teams and police escorting them, saying the anti-polio drive is part of a Western conspiracy.

Such attacks increased after the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States ran a fake hepatitis vaccination campaign to hunt for al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Laden was killed by US commandos in 2011 at his safehouse in Pakistan. EFE


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