At least two people have been killed and over 27 others, mostly policemen, injured as a bomb blast struck a police vehicle in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta.
The officers were on their way to protect polio workers in the capital of Pakistan’s Baluchistan province on Wednesday morning as a nationwide vaccination drive launched on Monday, according to police and local media.
The latest attack comes a day after the military claimed it killed 10 “terrorists” in a raid in the Hoshab district of Baluchistan province.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) armed group, also known as the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attack, two days after it ended a five-month ceasefire with the government in Islamabad, ordering its fighters to resume attacks across the country.
TTP said the attack in Baluchistan targeted police to avenge the killing of their former spokesperson, Abdul Wali, whose death was a heavy blow to the group.
In a statement on Monday, the outlawed TTP had asked its militants to carry out attacks across Pakistan after the army stepped up operations against the TTP.
Baluchistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo condemned the attack and pledged to counter the “cowardly acts”.
“All those involved in this incident and their facilitators will be brought under the law,” he said.
The TTP, which is an umbrella organization of al-Qaeda-linked militant groups, has been blamed for hundreds of bomb attacks and kidnappings across the country for nearly two decades.
Pakistan has lost tens of thousands of its citizens and security personnel since late 2001 when Islamabad joined the United States’ so-called war on terror.
The separatist militants, which are separate from the Afghan Taliban, aim to overthrow the government and govern the South Asian nation of 220 million by enforcing their own brand of harsh law.