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Two killed in blast claimed by Islamic State in Pakistan’s Balochistan region

pakistan muslim league (n) political party supporters look on, as former prime minister of pakistan nawaz sharif leaves in a helicopter, after an election campagain in hafizabad
Pakistan Muslim League (N) political party supporters look on, as former Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif leaves in a helicopter, after an election campagain in Hafizabad, Pakistan, January 18, 2024. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza

Two people were killed and three injured in an explosion in Pakistan’s restive southwestern Balochistan region on Tuesday, a senior police officer said.

Islamic State later claimed responsibility for the attack in a post on its Telegram channel.

The blast took place after a rally by former prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, senior police officer Zaka-Ul-Hassan said, hours after Khan was handed a 10-year jail sentence by a court for leaking state secrets.

Earlier, the Pakistani military said at least 15 people, including two civilians and four law enforcement agents, had been killed in a separatist militant attack late on Monday in Balochistan.

The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), the most prominent of several separatist groups operating in Balochistan, claimed responsibility for that attack.

Mountainous Balochistan, Pakistan’s largest province by territory but the smallest in terms of population, has seen a decades-long insurgency. It has Pakistan’s largest natural gas field and is believed to hold many more undiscovered reserves. It is also rich in precious metals including gold.

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