2 killed, 3 injured in roadside blast in Pakistan

Remote control bomb planted in motorbike targeted security forces vehicle in Balochistan's Panjgur district.

2 killed, 3 injured in roadside blast in Pakistan

At least two civilians were killed and three paramilitary troops injured in a remote-controlled blast in the southwestern Balochistan province on Sunday, officials said.

The blast, the latest in a series of terrorist attacks targeting security forces in the mineral-rich province, occurred in Panjgur district, located some 570 kilometers (354 miles) from the provincial capital Quetta.

The bomb, according to the police, was planted on a motorbike parked near a security forces vehicle in a crowded area and detonated through remote control.

Terming the attack a "cowardly act,” the newly-elected Chief Minister of Balochistan Abdul Qudus Bazinjo said the culprits will be brought to justice.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, however, ethnic Baloch separatists have long been targeting the security forces in the region.

The large Balochistan province, which is also considered to cover parts of neighboring Iran and Afghanistan, is strategically important due to its rich copper, zinc, and natural gas reserves.

The province is also a key route of the $64 billion mega project Pakistan–China Economic Corridor (PCEC), which aims to connect China's strategically important northwestern Xinxiang province to Balochistan’s Gawadar port through a network of roads, railways, and pipelines for cargo, oil, and gas transportation.

With its 600-kilometer long coastline, Gawadar is an important deep seaport currently operated by China, which aims to attain direct access to the Indian Ocean via this seaport.

The economic corridor will not only provide China cheaper access to Africa and the Middle East but will also bring billions of dollars to Pakistan in the form of transit fees from the world’s second-largest economy.

However, Baloch separatists, who have allegedly been involved in kidnapping and murdering Chinese workers in the recent past, oppose the project.