Suicide Bombers Storm Pakistani Police Base

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Authorities in Pakistan say three suicide bombers assaulted a regional police headquarters in a southwestern district Wednesday, triggering a firefight that killed a security officer and the assailants.

Two policemen were also wounded in the attack in Loralai, a remote town in Baluchistan province.

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The early morning militant raid began with a suicide bomber detonating his explosives at the entry gate, enabling his partners to storm the high-security building, a local police official told VOA requesting anonymity.

Police guards inside the compound swiftly engaged the attackers and the ensuing shootout killed one bomber while the other blew himself up, the official explained.

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The outlawed Pakistani Taliban militant group in a message to reporters claimed credit for plotting the attack but gave no other details.

Security forces and civilian targets routinely come under attack in Baluchistan, a natural resource-rich region. The province has been the scene of a low-level insurgency being waged by ethnic Baluch separatist groups.

Militants linked to a local affiliate of the Islamic State terrorist group also operate in the province and routinely carry out of attacks against security targets as well as the minority Shi’ite Hazara community which is mostly based in the provincial capital of Quetta.

Baluchistan is home to several Chinese-funded multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects and Pakistani authorities have deployed specially trained forces in the region to protect them as well as Chinese nationals working on them.

Last month, several heavily-armed suicide bombers stormed a luxury hotel in the Chinese-run strategic port of Gwadar in the province. That attack killed four hotel employees and a member of the Pakistani navy. Baluch insurgents took responsibility for the violence, saying it is aimed at China’s economic cooperation projects with Pakistan.

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