Pakistan officials say at least three paramilitary soldiers were killed when a suicide bomber on a motorbike blew himself up in the country’s restive southwest.
Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid told reporters on September 5 that 20 others, including civilians, were wounded in the blast.
Rashid said the target of the attack was a security checkpoint manned by the Frontier Corps (FC) in the district of Mustang in Balochistan Province.
The Tehrik-e Taliban (TTP) militant group, also known as the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it “targeted the FC personnel with an explosive [suicide] vest and explosive-laden motorcycle."
The resource-rich Balochistan Province, which borders Afghanistan and Iran, has been plagued by sectarian violence, attacks by Islamist militants, and a separatist insurgency that has caused thousands of casualties since 2004.
The province has also been the scene of attacks by the TTP, which has ideological and operational links with the Afghan Taliban.
The TTP renewed its allegiance to the Afghan Taliban after the fall of Kabul on August 15.
The TTP has stepped up its campaign against Pakistani security forces in Balochistan, carrying out scores of deadly attacks in recent months.
On August 26, three members of the paramilitary Levies forces were killed when their vehicle struck a land mine in Balochistan's Ziarat district.
During the same week, a Pakistani Army captain was killed when his vehicle hit an improvised explosive device (IED) planted in the Gichik area of Balochistan.