A car bomb attack struck a Pakistani security force truck in the restive southwestern city of Quetta during the morning rush hour on Wednesday, killing at least six people. In a separate attack in Quetta, a police officer was gunned down by assailants riding on a motorcycle, authorities said.
The car bombing took place in the Saryab Road area of Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan. Abdur Razzaq Cheema, the police chief in Quetta, said 24 people were also wounded, several critically.
A probe was launched to determine whether it was a suicide bombing or whether the explosives-laden vehicle was detonated remotely when the truck, which was carrying police recruits, was passing by, he said.
The death toll could rise, he added.
Television broadcast pictures of the burned-out wreckage of the vehicle.
Home Minister for Baluchistan Sarfaraz Bugti, who visited the site of explosion, said such attacks would not bring down the morale of the security forces.
“We are at war and our security forces are being targeted as they are crushing the enemies,” Bugti said.
“We will continue the war against these terrorists and we will defeat them.”
In the drive-by shooting, two men on a motorcycle shot and killed police inspector Abdus Salam as he was on his way to work. Cheema, the police chief, said the gunmen fired multiple shots on him before fleeing.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the two attacks.
Baluchistan has been the scene of a low-level insurgency by Baluch separatist groups demanding a greater share of the province’s resources but militant groups also operate in the region.