Four officers died on Tuesday after they became involved in a shooting spree with Islamist fighters in southwest Pakistan. On Monday evening, four people were killed in a bomb attack at the same place, the local police said.
Gunmen believed to be part of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) group, the Pakistani Taliban, opened fire on some officers just before dawn in Kuchlak, about ten kilometres north of Quetta, the capital of the province. Balochistan.
“The men opened fire on a group of officers from a building; four officers were killed,” said police officer Muhammad Zohaib. “One terrorist also died from bullets, and the others managed to escape.”
On Monday evening, four people – two officers and two civilians – died after a bomb attack. That bomb was planted on a motorcycle in Quetta’s crowded market. The Balochistan Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the attack.
Baluchistan, one of Pakistan’s largest but least populous and poorest provinces, has been plagued by separatists for decades. Various jihadist groups, such as TTP, have a foothold there. The province is rich in hydrocarbons and minerals, but the poor population, more than twelve million inhabitants, believes it is being robbed of its natural resources.
The major construction sites of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor heighten tensions in Balochistan. These Chinese projects have often caused great resentment in the province, especially among separatist groups who believe that the local population does not benefit from them.