At least nine people, including six Afghan security officials, were killed and 19 others injured on Friday when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a check post on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in the troubled Balochistan province.
There were six Afghan security officials among those killed and 19 others were injured in the suicide bombing in the Chaman region of Balochistan, according to security sources.
Pakistani security officials, who did not want to be named, told Dawn.com that the suicide bomber blew himself while targeting the vehicle of Afghan border forces close to check post near the Friendship Gate at Pak-Afghan border.
"Our forces miraculously survived since the blast happened at Friendship Gate at Pak-Afghan border," the source said. Afghan security officials told the Dawn news channel that Afghan border commander Akhtar Muhammad was the intended target of the suicide attack.
However, the sources said that Muhammad survived the attack. The condition of five of the injured persons was stated to be serious and they were rushed to Quetta's bordering town of Chaman for medical treatment. Frontier Corps sources, however, said that some Pakistanis were also among the injured.
Pak-Afghan border was immediately closed after the blast. Chaman is a small town in the southwestern province of Balochistan and is one of the two main crossing points for supplies for American and Nato troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies on Friday said they have unearthed and averted a plan to carry out a suicide bombing attack in Pakistan's biggest city Karachi.
A senior police official claimed that during a targeted search operation in the congested Manghopir area, seven suspected militants, including a suicide bomber, were arrested who reached the city few days back to carry out the attack.
"A total of 11 suspects, including a suicide bomber, were arrested during the operation," the official said. The search operation, conducted by Rangers in collaboration with area police, lasted for several hours.
The official said during the operation they had recovered a big cache of arms, a few motorcycles, a monitor, mobile phones and threatening pamphlets. One of the pamphlets warned women against visiting marketplaces. According to initial investigations, the suicide bomber had reached Karachi from North Waziristan on Thursday.
Security officers said all the arrested suspects belonged to banned outfits. Around 1,500 Rangers officers took part in the operation, which was conducted on a tip off.