Quetta: AIG Hamid Shakeel among three martyred in blast targeting police van

A scene of the attack

A scene of the attack

Hamid Shakeel is survived by three sons.

The Taliban is claiming responsibility for a suicide bombing in Pakistan.

Shakil was serving as a Deputy Inspector General (DIG), the second highest rank in the provincial police force. TTP had carried out most of the deadly attacks across Pakistan in the previous decade.

Commissioner Quetta Amjad Ali Khan confirmed the attack and said that according to initial reports it was a suicide bombing, but he would wait for investigators to follow up on the nature of the incident.

The province has also been at the centre of much of the transport infrastructure development related to the $56bn China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a trade corridor linking southwestern China to the Arabian Sea through Pakistan that culminates in the Gwadar port in southern Balochistan. For over a decade, Baloch nationalists have waged a separatist insurgency in Balochistan, Pakistan's mineral-rich and largest province by area, demanding autonomy and a greater share in resources of their province. Three police officials were seriously wounded, he added. He also lauded the efforts and sacrifices of policemen in eradicating terrorism and upholding peace and security in the region.

The blast occurred near a truck of rapid response force in which more than 30 troops were travelling on the national highway in the eastern side of the city.

Nine people, including police officers, were also wounded in the attack that targeted Hamid Shakil, who had played a key role in arresting militants and members of small separatist groups in recent years, said police officer Naseeb Ullah.

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