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Deadly Suicide Blast Hits Southwest Pakistan

An injured boy carries an injured girl as he runs towards a safe area a few minutes after the suicide bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, Feb. 6, 2016.

A suspected suicide bombing in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta Saturday killed at least eight people and wounded many more, officials said.

Baluchistan Provincial Home Secretary Akbar Durrani told reporters a man riding a bicycle approached a truck carrying personnel of the paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) while it was parked in a busy part of the city and detonated the bomb. He said an investigation has been launched into the attack.

Hospital officials have confirmed receiving at least 20 people who were wounded by the powerful blast. They include 10 FC personnel while the rest are said to be civilians.

Taliban claim responsibility

A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying it was carried out by a member of its special suicide squad.

In addition to the extremist violence, separatist ethnic Baloch militants are blamed for assaults on security forces and government installations in Baluchistan.

Fighters linked to Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgency are allegedly sheltering in the natural resource-rich Pakistani province and are directing attacks at targets in the neighboring country and within Pakistan.