Islamabad, Pakistan – A suicide bomber riding a motorcycle has rammed into a police truck in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Balochistan, killing at least nine soldiers and wounding another 13.
Agha Samiullah, the deputy commissioner of Balochistan’s Kachhi district, told Al Jazeera the attack took place on Monday morning in Kambri Bridge area of the district, nearly 150km (93 miles) east of the provincial capital of Quetta
Samiullah said the truck was carrying 22 members of the Balochistan Constabulary, a wing of the provincial police force.
“The team was returning from Sibi city where they had gone over the weekend to perform security duties at a culture festival and were on their way back to Quetta,” he told Al Jazeera.
No armed group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.
Mehmood Notezai, a senior police officer in Kachhi, said the injured were shifted to Combined Military Hospital in Sibi.
Balochistan is home to a decades-old rebellion by ethnic Baloch rebel groups, who have been fighting the Pakistani state, accusing it of exploiting the province’s rich gas and mineral resources.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the attack, calling it a part of “nefarious designs to create instability in the country”.
“All such conspiracies will be made unsuccessful with the public’s support,” Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo said in a statement.
Last month, a bomb blast in Balochistan’s Barkhan city killed at least five people and wounded 14 others.
In January, at least 13 people were wounded after an explosion in a passenger train in the province’s Bolan district.