Pakistani Taliban suicide bomber rams police truck, kills 7

Security officials inspect a wreckage of a vehicle after a blast in Quetta, Pakistan on October 18, 2017. (REUTERS)
Updated 18 October 2017
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Pakistani Taliban suicide bomber rams police truck, kills 7

QUETTA: A Pakistani Taliban suicide bomber rammed a car into a police truck in the southwestern city of Quetta on Wednesday, killing at least seven people, police said.
The attack killed five police officials and two passers-by on the outskirts of the city of Quetta, police chief Abdur Razzaq Cheema said. He said 22 people were wounded, eight of them critically.
Sarfraz Bugti, the home minister of Baluchistan province, of which Quetta is capital, told Reuters: “It was a suicide blast.”
Quetta is about 100 km (60 miles) east of the border with Afghanistan.
Bugti said the truck carrying the police officials was on its way to the city to drop them at their posts when the suicide bomber rammed into the vehicle. Television pictures showed the burnt wreckage of the vehicles.
The Pakistani Taliban, an umbrella organization of various militant groups within Pakistan, and loosely allied to the Afghan Taliban, issued a statement claiming responsibility.
Baluchistan province has long been the scene of an insurgency by separatists fighting against the state to demand more of a share of the gas- and mineral-rich region’s resources. They also accuse the central government of discrimination.
The Taliban, sectarian groups and other militants linked to Al-Qaeda and the Daesh group also operate in the strategically important region, which borders Iran as well as Afghanistan.
The violence has fueled concern about security for projects in the $57 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor, a transport and energy link planned to run from western China to Pakistan’s southern deep-water port of Gwadar.
A suicide bombing claimed by Daesh at a Sufi Muslim shrine this month killed 22 people and wounded more than 30.
Ayub Qureshi, the provincial police chief, said a counter-terrorism police officer was shot and killed in another part of Quetta as authorities were dealing with the suicide bombing.
A militant sectarian faction, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al-Almi, claimed responsibility for killing the counter-terrorism official, and for planting a roadside bomb in a northwestern region, that killed two soldiers.
Security officials said a remote-controlled bomb was set off as an army vehicle passed by.


2 Koreas, US-led UN Command meet again at Koreas’ border

In this Oct. 16, 2018, file photo provided by South Korea Defense Ministry, the US-led United Nations Command, center, South Korean and North Korean, left, military officers attend a meeting at the southern side of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea. (AP)
Updated 15 min 38 sec ago
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2 Koreas, US-led UN Command meet again at Koreas’ border

  • Seoul’s liberal government is pushing for greater engagement with North Korea, but US officials say such moves should be in tandem with global efforts to denuclearize North Korea

SEOUL, South Korea: Military officers from the two Koreas and the US-led UN Command met again at the Koreas’ border village Monday to examine an ongoing effort to disarm the area.
Demetallizing the Panmunjom village inside the Koreas’ heavily fortified border was among many agreements the Koreas struck in September to lower military tensions between the rivals.
Under the deals, troops from the Koreas began clearing mines from Panmunjom earlier this month before withdrawing weapons and guard posts there. They eventually plan to have 35 unarmed personnel from each side guard the village.
Monday’s trilateral talks are the second in kind in about a week. Officially, the village is jointly overseen by North Korea and the UN Command, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War that ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.
The talks are to review the demining work and discussing future steps in the area, South Korea’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.
As part of the September agreements, the two Koreas are removing mines from another frontline area where they plan their first-ever joint searches for the remains of soldiers killed during the Korean War. The Koreas also plan to establish buffer zones along their land and sea boundaries, and a no-fly zone above the border.
General-level officers from the Koreas are to meet at Panmunjom on Friday to discuss more details about how to implement the tension-reduction deals, according to the South Korean Defense Ministry.
Also Monday, officials from the Koreas separately met at their recently launched liaison office at the North Korean border town of Kaesong for talks on how to cooperate in forestry sectors.
Seoul’s liberal government is pushing for greater engagement with North Korea, but US officials say such moves should be in tandem with global efforts to denuclearize North Korea.