Market bomb kills one, wounds eight in Pakistan: police

Market bomb kills one, wounds eight in Pakistan: police
Pakistani security personnel gather around the site of bomb explosion in Quetta on July 5, 2015.
PHOTO: AFP

QUETTA, Pakistan - A bomb hit a market in southwest Pakistan late Sunday, killing one person and wounding eight others, police said.

The bomb went off during rush hours in Bach Khan square, the centre of Quetta city where thousands of customers visit the markets daily.

Quetta is the capital of Baluchistan province, home to a long-running nationalist insurgency aimed at seeking greater control over the province's rich oil, gas and mineral resources.

"One person was killed and eight wounded. Police are investigating the nature of the bomb," senior police official Abdul Razzaq Cheema told AFP.

Cheema said the person killed was apparently carrying the bomb to plant it somewhere in the markets but said this was still being determined.

Another police official in Quetta confirmed the blast and causalities and told AFP, requesting anonymity, that dozens of police and paramilitary personnels were on duty near the site of the blast "but fortunately all remained safe".

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Rebels began their fifth insurgency against the state in 2004, with hundreds of soldiers and militants killed in the fighting.

Pakistan accuses neighbouring India of funding and arming the rebels -- a charge some analysts say is payback for Pakistan's perceived interference in Kashmir.

The desperately poor province is also riven by sectarian strife and Islamist violence in its northern Pashtun belt, with middle-class Baluch increasingly viewing independence as their only hope for a more liberal and secular state.

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