Three Soldiers Killed in Suicide Attack in Southwest Pakistan

QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) -
Security officials examine the site of a suicide bombing in a checkpoint on the outskirts of Quetta, Pakistan, Sunday. (AP Photo/Arshad Butt)

At least three paramilitary soldiers were killed and 20 wounded in a suicide attack in southwest Pakistan on Sunday, officials said, as the South Asian nation sees a spike in attacks on security forces over the last month.

Separatists have fought a low-level insurgency against the government for decades in the southwestern province of Balochistan, where China is increasing investment in energy and infrastructure projects.

The attack occurred as a checkpoint security detail was being relieved, Sheikh Rashid, Pakistan’s interior minister, told reporters at a press conference. Three members of the Frontier Constabulary (FC) were killed and 20 wounded, he said.

A suicide bomber on a motorcycle packed with 6 kg of explosives rammed one of the vehicles in an FC convoy, Azhar Akram, deputy inspector general of the Quetta police said.

An Islamist militant organization called Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The TTP, which renewed its allegiance to the Afghan Taliban after the fall of Kabul, has recently stepped up its campaign against the Pakistani army.

“Condemn the TTP suicide attack on FC check-post in Mastung Road, Quetta,” Prime Minister Imran Khan said in a tweet.