Pakistan bomb kills 6 at political meeting


A Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA) guerrilla fighter stands guard near a BLA camp in the scrubland of Bolan, a two-hour drive from Quetta, capital of the Pakistan province of Baluchistan.


Marc Wattrelot

A bomb detonated by remote control at a political rally in southwestern Pakistan's Baluchistan province killed six people and wounded 12 on Friday.

"The death toll in the blast has risen to six," local police official Wazir Khan Nasir told Agence France-Presse.

Among those killed in the attack was a young girl, reported AFP. A police surgeon at local hospital Ghulam Haider confirmed the six deaths.

The bomb — which was planted on a bicycle outside the public meeting — exploded as the provincial leader of the Awami National Party (ANP), Aurangzaib Kasi, took the stage to speak, according to CNN. Kasi is said to be one of the wounded.

Baluchistan is one of the most deprived areas of Pakistan, reported AFP. In 2004, Baluch rebels rose up and demanded political autonomy. They also wanted a greater share of profits from the oil, gas and mineral resources in the region.

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There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Friday's blast, but authorities believe Kasi was targeted because of his party's platform, which opposes extremism in Pakistan, according to CNN. Kasi's party, locally known as ANP, is the largest Pashtun party. The majority of the party is located in Baluchistan and Sindh provinces.