གཟའ་ཕུར་བུ། ༢༠༢༤/༠༤/༡༨

Bomb Kills Soldiers, Civilians in Pakistan  - 2004-12-10

An apparent terrorist bombing in southwestern Pakistan has killed at least nine people and injured a dozen others.

Police say a bomb attached to an abandoned bicycled explode at a crowded square in the Pakistani city of Quetta late Friday afternoon.

Quetta is the provincial capital of Pakistan's Baluchistan province, where terrorist incidents are not uncommon. Militants have staged rocket attacks on military and police targets in the area over the past year, in reported opposition to anti-terror operations in the province.

But military spokesman Major General Shaukat Sultan Khan says Friday's incident does not mean there is a serious security problem in Baluchistan.

"This is an isolated incident of terrorism and that's it. … It doesn't mean that people are opposed to the government," he says.

Some of the victims of the attack were soldiers, although there is no indication that the military itself was a target.

Pakistan's military has recently increased its presence in Baluchistan as part of an effort to weed out foreign militants in the region.

Reports say some local tribesmen are also opposed to the military presence, as well as what they see as a lack of government aid to the impoverished region.

Baluchistan has also been the site of occasional sectarian violence between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims. In March, assailants attacked a Shi'ite religious procession, killing 44 people.