Explosion targeting police kills three in southwest Pakistan

The blast targeted a police vehicle that was on routine patrol in the Pakistani border town of Chaman.

A damaged police vehicle seen after the blast in Chaman [Saeed Ali Achakzai/Reuters]

Islamabad, Pakistan – An improvised explosive device blast has killed at least three people and wounded 12 others in the southwestern Pakistani border town of Chaman, officials say.

The blast took place on Tuesday evening and targeted a police vehicle that was on routine patrol in the Levies Lines area of the town, located about 100km (62 miles) northwest of provincial capital Quetta.

“There was a motorcycle parked in front of the market [in the area] and it was filled with explosives,” Shamsullah, a local official, told Al Jazeera.

“When the vehicle came in front of the motorcycle, it exploded.”

Relatives and paramedic staff gather near a man injured in the blast in Chaman [Saeed Ali Achakzai/Reuters]

Shamsullah, known by one name as is common in the region, confirmed the death toll and number of wounded. Those killed were civilian passersby, he said, while most of the wounded were police personnel who were in the vehicle.

Images from the scene showed extensive damage to several shops in the market and broken windows on buildings around the blast site.

Chaman is a key border crossing between Pakistan and its northwestern neighbour Afghanistan, with thousands of pedestrians and many container trucks crossing each day.

Balochistan province, in which Chaman is located, is Pakistan’s largest but least densely populated and is rich in mineral resources.

It has seen a myriad of security issues in recent years, with an ethnic Baloch armed separatist movement attacking security and civilian targets for more than a decade and also several attacks by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP, also known as Pakistani Taliban) in recent years.

In a statement, TTP spokesman Muhammad Khurasani said the armed group claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s attack.

Asad Hashim is Al Jazeera’s digital correspondent in Pakistan. He tweets @AsadHashim.

Source: Al Jazeera