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Bombings kill 13 people in southwest Pakistan

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QUETTA, Pakistan » A bomb at a crowded market in Pakistan’s restive southwestern province of Baluchistan killed 10 people today, while a roadside bombing elsewhere in the troubled region killed three security officials, police said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombings but nationalists in Baluchistan have long waged a low-level insurgency to pressure the government to get more wealth from resources such as natural gas that are extracted from the province.

Islamist militants, including the al-Qaida affiliated group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, also operate in Baluchistan.

The first bombing today went off outside the market in the town of Sibi in Baluchistan, killing 10 and wounding 24 people, said senior police officer, Ghulam Aali Lashari.

Lashari said the blast destroyed several shops in the town, which lies about 150 kilometers (90 miles) east of Quetta, the provincial capital.

Hours later, a roadside bomb struck a vehicle carrying security officers in the southwestern town of Dera Bugti. That attack killed three officers and wounded two, said police officer Shehbaz Khan.

Also today, gunmen kidnapped a retired Pakistani army brigadier who was working under contract with the country’s intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence. The abduction took place on the outskirts of the capital, Islamabad, shortly after the officer left his home for work, said a police and a security official.

The officer’s driver resisted and was shot and killed, said the two officials, who both spoke on condition anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. They requested the kidnapped officer’s name be withheld because his safety could be compromised if it was revealed.

One of the officials said the officer was working on a counter-terrorism assignment but would not disclose the exact nature of the job.


Associated Press Writer Asif Shehzad contributed to this report from Islamabad.

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