Quetta is the capital of Balochistan province near the Afghan border. The province has seen a decades-long insurgency by separatists who demand independence from Pakistan, citing what they say is the state’s monopoly and exploitation of the province’s mineral resources.
The District Inspector General of Police for Quetta, Azhar Akram, confirmed to CNN that the attack was caused by a suicide bomber and took place early Sunday morning at a checkpoint of the Frontier Corp, the paramilitary troops stationed within the city of Quetta.
The Pakistani Taliban, known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed responsibility for the blast in a statement released to CNN.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the incident in a post on Twitter Sunday.
“Condemn the TTP suicide attack on FC checkpost, Mastung road, Quetta. My condolences go to the families of the martyrs & prayers for the recovery of the injured. Salute our security forces & their sacrifices to keep us safe by thwarting foreign-backed terrorists’ designs,” the tweet read.