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Pakistan Market Bombing Kills 4

Baluchistan, Pakistan

Police in southwestern Pakistan said Sunday a bomb blast had ripped through a crowded market, killing at least four people and injuring 16 others.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing in the remote Barkhan district in Baluchistan province, where insurgent attacks are not uncommon.

Local hospital officials said children were among those injured, describing the condition of several victims as “critical” and fearing the death toll could rise.

The deputy district commissioner, Abdullah Khoso, said the explosion was caused by a remote-controlled bomb on a parked motorcycle.

Several shops were also badly damaged in the ensuing blast, according to local TV news channels.

Provincial Chief Minister Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo condemned the violence as a terrorist act and called the perpetrators as “enemies of humanity.” He did not name any group.

“Terrorists are trying to create uncertainty through such attacks to achieve their nefarious designs, but we won’t allow these anti-state elements to succeed,” an official statement quoted Bizenjo as saying.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also denounced the deadly bombing in Baluchistan, vowing to bring those behind the bloodshed to justice.

Sunday’s violence comes a day after militants staged a bomb and gun attack on a police vehicle in the province’s Khuzadar district that killed two security forces.

The natural resources-rich Pakistani province has long been in the grip of a low-level insurgency led by ethnic Baluch separatist groups demanding its independence from Pakistan.

Militants linked the outlawed Pakistani Taliban group have lately also stepped up attacks on security forces in Baluchistan.