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2 bomb attacks in Baluchistan within 3 days as terrorist death toll increases around Pakistan's 70th independence day celebrations.

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Image of vehicles burning in aftermath of Saturday's bomb attack in Quetta.

At least 15 people, mostly military men, were martyred and dozens wounded – some of them critically – in a terrorist attack targeting an army truck in a high-security neighbourhood of Quetta, Baluchistan on Saturday night (12th August). Followed by a further bomb attack on Monday (14th August) in a remote district of Baluchistan in south western Pakistan, that killed eight soldiers.

Saturday's terrorist attack targeted an army truck in a high-security neighbourhood of Quetta on Saturday night has left the Old Pishin community with 15 casualties, and dozens wounded. Ten vehicles were scorched and gutted from the force of the explosion.

The provincial home minister Sarfaz Bugti said, "According to the information we have received so far, there are around 15 casualties, people who were martyred, and around 40 people were wounded."

The military's media department reported eight military personnel and seven civilians were dead on the scene and that 25 others, among them 15 civilians, were left wounded - some critically.

According to officials the suicide attacker charged into a military truck with his motorcycle, rigged with explosives, at Old Pishin bus stop. The blast of flames engulfed not only the truck but several other vehicles driving by in the ensuing a ball of flames, including: Four cars, four auto-rickshaws and two motorcycles.

ISPR identified that "Incendiary explosives were used," but didn't mention the suicide bomber.
Director-General Civil Defence Aslam Tareen said the suicide bomber rigged his motorcyle with 20-25 kilograms of explosives in a "device" which was packed with ball bearings to inflict maximum casualties.

Bugti said they are still investigating the motive for the attack as it could not immediately be determined, however members of the growing IS presence in Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack. 

Army troops, aided by police and paramilitary personnel, threw a security cordon around the area as investigators started sifting through the debris for vital forensic evidence.

Pishin Stop area has several important buildings, including FC Headquarters, Balochistan Assembly, Chief Minister House, Governor House and Balochistan High Court. This high-security zone is also a busy shopping district filled with hotels and restaurants and shops
Windows of buildings in the neighbourhood were blown out by the blast of the explosion, as people fled in terror.

Health Minister Rehmat Saleh Baloch declared a state of emergency in all hospitals of the city.

The injured were driven primarily to the Civil Hospital and the Combined Military Hospital where medics said eight of them had life-threatening wounds.

Monday's attack followed a different modus operandi after a roadside bomb detonated and killed 8 soldiers.The separatist organisation 'Baloch Liberation Army' (BLA) have already claimed responsibility for the attack.

Concerns have been raised about growing militancy in the state of Baluchistan which is a recognisable stronghold for supporters of IS in Pakistan and has suffered decades of insurgency from Baluch freedom fighters. Freedom fighters claim that Baluchistan was sequestered by Pakistan under duress after having been offered statehood by the British Raj.  The main proponents for freedom have also been calling for a greater share of the gas-rich resources from the province which is also a major route for the 'Belt and Bridges' economic corridor programme funded to the extent of $57 billion by the Chinese.

BPCA will be sending an officer to help victims by offering prayer, counselling and aid.

Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:

"The frequency of bomb attacks in Pakistan in recent months is at an all time high. There have been at least 12 terrorists attacks this year which is devastating communities and causing a huge loss of morale.

"This attack only days before the 70th anniversary of Pakistan is clear evidence that the country is in a period of turmoil with militants intent on causing fear and anxiety. 70 years of Pakistani nationhood has done little to quell social disunity and has in fact only served to exacerbate polarisation and conflict.

"Tribal and religious differences and social inequality have created a cancerous social climate in Pakistan a product of poor governance. Devolved provincial national curriculum that inculcates stereotyping and demonization of 'others' has fermented the hate and cemented differences.

"Unless the Government of Pakistan is serious about addressing these issues the existing fractious society will continue to worsen leading to a failed state in anarchy.  This is especially dangerous in Pakistan's case as it is a nuclear power."
 

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