Landmine explosions kill one, injure 18 in southwest Pakistan

Double land mine blasts killed one person and wounded at least 18 on Thursday in Duki district in Baluchistan province, a police officer said. The first mine exploded when a truck was passing through a valley in the coal-rich area. The second detonated when counter-terrorism officials and civilians were examining the initial blast site, said district police officer Asif Haleem. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the blast. But Baloch separatists have previously struck security personnel or infrastructure in the southwest. They initially wanted a greater share of provincial resources, but later initiated an insurgency for independence from the central government. Also on Thursday, an Islamabad-based think tank said that militant assaults killed 70 people nationwide in April, mostly in northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies also said the country experienced 323 militant attacks in the first four months of the year, resulting in 324 deaths. Such incidents are unusual in eastern Punjab province, but police said militants from banned groups are responsible for attacks in Lahore city during the past 10 days. Inspector General of Punjab Usman Anwar urged people to report any suspicious activity. A report issued in January by another think tank, the Pak Institute for Peace Studies, said there were 306 attacks last year, killing 693 people.

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