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Four Pakistani policemen killed in Balochistan, officials call it 'act of terrorism'

Quetta: Unidentified gunmen on motorcycles killed four policemen in southwest Pakistan on Thursday, the latest attack to target authorities in restive Balochistan province.

Representational image. WP

Representational image. WP

The incident took place in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, which has been wracked by separatist and Islamist violence for more than a decade.

Senior police official Abdul Razzaq Cheema told AFP that police superintendent Mubarak Shah was on his way to the office along with three police guards when the gunmen opened fire on their vehicle.

"The attackers opened fire from different directions, killing Mubarak Shah and his three police guards," Cheema said, adding that gunmen then fled the scene.

Mohammad Tayyab, a senior Quetta government official, confirmed the attack and casualties.

Both described the incident as "an act of terrorism". No group has yet claimed responsibility.

The killing came four days after a bomb killed a high-profile police chief and his guard while wounding 11 others in Chaman, a tense border town in southwestern Balochistan.

Pakistan media reported the Islamic State group had claimed the Chaman attack.

The country has been battling Islamist and nationalist insurgencies in mineral-rich Balochistan since 2004, with hundreds of soldiers and militants killed in the fighting.

Bordering Iran and Afghanistan, it is the largest of Pakistan's four provinces, but its roughly seven million inhabitants have long complained they do not receive a fair share of its gas and mineral wealth.

A greater push towards peace and development by Pakistani authorities has reduced the violence considerably in recent years.

Updated Date: Jul 13, 2017 16:13 PM

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