Pakistan: Bombing kills nine in Quetta
Pakistani security officials examine the site of a bomb explosion in Quetta, Baluchistan province. (AFP/Banaras Khan)
At least nine people were killed and over 40 others injured on Saturday in a bomb explosion targeting a vehicle transporting security forces in southwestern Pakistan, PressTV reports.
Police authorities said the attack was carried out when a bomber riding on a bicycle blew his explosives near a car belonging to the paramilitary Frontier Corps in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan Province.
The blast left seven civilians and two members of the security forces dead.
"Two of our soldiers were martyred in the bombing and 10 others were wounded," said a paramilitary spokesman whose name was not mentioned in the report.
Pro-Taliban militants in a statement claimed responsibility for the blast without releasing further details.
Pakistan has been facing security challenges since it joined an alliance with the United States in the so-called war on terror in 2001.
Back in January, five soldiers and two coast guard members were killed in separate attacks in Balochistan, while a bomber killed at least 15 people outside a polio center in Quetta.
Thousands of people have been killed over the past decade as a result of a surge in violence in the country. Thousands more have been displaced by the wave of violence and militancy.
In the country's troubled northwestern tribal regions, Islamabad has been engaged in a major offensive against militant hideouts since June 2014, when a deadly raid on the Karachi International Airport ended the government's faltering peace talks with the pro-Taliban militants.
Pakistan's mineral and gas-rich Balochistan Province is rife with separatist, extremist and sectarian violence and has been the scene of numerous attacks over the past years.