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Pakistani Military Says It Foiled Major Terror Attack In Quetta

Members of the Hazara community of Shi'ite Muslims protest against the killing of Hazaras in Quetta.
Members of the Hazara community of Shi'ite Muslims protest against the killing of Hazaras in Quetta.

Pakistani security forces said on May 17 that they foiled a major terror attack in the southwestern city of Quetta, killing five suicide bombers.

The target of the attack was a local office of the paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC), the military said in a statement.

"An explosive-laden vehicle carrying five suicide bombers tried to enter the FC help center. Vigilant FC soldiers fired at [the] terrorists and killed them," it said.

Four soldiers were injured in the firefight with the attackers, it said.

The failed attack came just hours after a suicide bomber struck a paramilitary convoy in the northwestern city of Nowshera, wounding 10 people.

The two attacks on the FC came a day after Pakistani forces said they killed Salman Badeni, an Islamist militant leader wanted for the murder of more than 100 Pakistani Shi'ite Muslims, on the outskirts of Quetta, the capital of restive Balochistan Province.

No militant group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks on May 17. But the military said the attempted suicide in Quetta was a "response" to the killing of Badeni on May 16.

Badeni was the provincial commander of the Islamist extremist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), widely considered one of the most violent militant outfits in Pakistan. Sunni extremists like the LeJ consider Shi'a to be heretics.

LeJ is blamed for the deaths of hundreds of Shi'a in numerous attacks across Pakistan, especially in Balochistan.

A number of Islamist militant groups are active in the province, including the Taliban and local Islamic State affiliates.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters
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