ISIS Suicide Bomb Kills Pakistani Soldier

Authorities in Pakistan said Tuesday at least five members of its security forces were killed and about 30 injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up near a government convoy in Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the deadly attack in the city of Sibi. The incident was the second suicide bombing by the terrorist group in less than a week.

The gunman detonated his bomb on a street, just minutes after Pakistani President Arif Alvi’s entourage passed the point, local security officials said.

It is not clear whether the president was the target of the attack. Alvi returned from an annual cultural feast at a nearby venue where he delivered a televised speech about the recent increase in terrorist attacks in Baluchistan and elsewhere in Pakistan.

“We know that more sophisticated weapons have fallen into the hands of terrorists following the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan,” the president said.

Alvi told local news channel DAWN last month that the “withdrawal of foreign troops from war-torn neighbors” has led to a situation where weapons such as night vision goggles and other weapons have fallen into the hands of terrorists carrying out cross-border attacks against Pakistan.

On Friday (5/3), a suicide bomber took action inside a mosque of a Shiite minority group in Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The powerful explosion killed 63 people and injured 200 others. ISIS claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying that one of its members from Afghanistan was the perpetrator.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani military, on Tuesday (8/3), said that its troops had attacked terrorist hideouts in Turbat district, Baluchistan, and a fierce exchange of fire broke out in which military forces managed to kill seven terrorists including two of their commanders. The raid also managed to confiscate a large amount of weapons and ammunition.

Rebels of ethnic Baluch origin regularly carry out attacks on civilians and Pakistani security forces in the province. Last month rebels killed at least 19 soldiers in separate attacks.

Baluchistan is a region rich in natural resources, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa borders Afghanistan, where ISIS regional affiliate IS-Khorasan is based in the region.

Leaders and members of the outlawed Pakistani Taliban and wanted by the Pakistani government have also taken refuge on the Afghan side after fleeing security operations in Pakistan. Officials in Islamabad said militant units were preparing for cross-border attacks from their shelters in Afghanistan. [jm/em]