Train bombing kills 12 in Balochistan
Attack comes one day after killing of 40 insurgents
At least 12 people have been killed after a powerful bomb ripped through a passenger train in the Pakistani province of Balochistan on Tuesday, officials say. Another 35 people have been injured.
The blast hit the Jafar Express as it was travelling from Quetta, Balochistan’s provincial capital, to Rawalpindi.
Local media aired footage showing at least three compartments of the train which burst into flames after the explosion.
Federal Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique said that more than 80 persons were on board the train.
“It is too early to say whether the bomb was planted inside the train or on the track. But it appears that today’s attack was carried out by a woman,” he said.
Balochistan Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti blamed banned separatist groups for the attacks.
Such attacks targeting women, passengers and children are against the Baloch traditions, he said.
The injured were taken to Sibbi District Hospital and Civil Hospital in Quetta. Some of those critically injured were taken to Quetta.
The attack came a day after Pakistani paramilitary troops launched a military operation in the insurgency-racked southwestern province that killed 40 rebels.
In a statement, frontier constabulary (FC) said the operation began early on Monday in Kalat district.
"Around 40 insurgents belonging to the Baloch Republican Army and Baloch Liberation Army were killed during the operation," it said.
Balochistan has a long history of civil strife, with frequent changes to its dominion and borders. In recent years, separatist insurgents have been demanding greater autonomy and a greater share of the province's natural resources.
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