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Suicide attack targets top official in Pakistan province

A suicide attack targeting a top elected official in Pakistan's southern province, kills one person, leaving the chief minister unhurt

AFP, Tuesday 7 Dec 2010
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A suicide attack targeted the convoy of the top elected official in Pakistan's southern province of Baluchistan on Tuesday, killing one person while leaving the chief minister unharmed.

The bomber detonated alongside the motorcade of Nawab Aslam Raisani in Quetta, the capital of a province where violence, connected to a separatist insurgency and Taliban violence, has surged this year.

"It was a suicide bombing. The convoy of the chief minister was damaged," Quetta administration official Nasim Lehri told Samaa TV.

Police said one man was killed and a number of people wounded as Raisani, an ethnic Baluch, was being driven from his home to the provincial assembly.

"The chief minister was the target, but he remained unhurt," senior police official Salim Lehri told AFP.

"One of the escort cars was damaged and some officials were wounded."

The convoy was passing a railway crossing in Saryab Road at the time and an unexploded hand grenade was also found nearby, Lehri said.

Violence has surged this year in Baluchistan, one of the most politically tense parts of Pakistan and on the border with Afghanistan and Iran.

Hundreds of people have died since rebels rose up in 2004 demanding political autonomy and a greater share of profits from the region's natural oil, gas and mineral resources.

On the other hand, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Tuesday that it was "unacceptable" that terror networks could find "safe havens" in Pakistan, as he paid tribute to victims of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

"It is unacceptable... that terrorist acts should be masterminded and carried out by terrorist groups in Pakistan," Sarkozy said in Mumbai on the final day of his four-day trip to India.

"I call on all Pakistani authorities to step up their efforts and show that they are resolute in combating these criminals."

 

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