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Quetta blast: 5 injured in TTP-orchestrated explosion; Babar vs Sarfaraz PSL exhibition match halted briefly

At least five people, mostly police officers, were injured in an explosion in Quetta on Sunday in Pakistan's restive Balochistan province.

Quetta blast: 5 injured in TTP-orchestrated explosion; Babar vs Sarfaraz PSL exhibition match halted briefly snt
First Published Feb 5, 2023, 4:54 PM IST

In another instance of the Pakistani Taliban's relentless attacks on the nation's security authorities, at least five people were hurt in an explosion that occurred in Quetta on Sunday in the unrest-ridden Balochistan province of Pakistan.

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The explosion happened near the Quetta Police Lines Area, and the injured, primarily police officers, were taken to the city's Civil Hospital. According to police sources, the area was sealed off. It's unclear what caused the explosion right away.

The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the attack. It stated that security officials were targeted in the blast.

At the Nawab Akbar Bugti stadium in Quetta, a Pakistan Super League (PSL) exhibition game featuring prominent players like captain Babar Azam and former all-rounder Shahid Afridi had to be temporarily stopped due to the explosion. The players weren't hurt, according to the officials.

Days before the most recent event, a Taliban suicide bomber detonated himself during afternoon prayers in a mosque in Peshawar, killing 101 people and injuring over 200 others.

In Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Balochistan, and the Punjab town of Mianwali, which borders the unrest-ridden Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, terrorism has been on the rise.

According to The Express Tribune newspaper, Pakistan's civil and military leadership resolved to request Afghan Taliban chairman Haibuttallah Akhundzada's intervention to manage the TTP during the Apex Committee meeting on Friday.

The TTP ended an indefinite ceasefire in November of last year, set a date for a new one with the government—June 2022—and instructed its fighters to target the security forces.

The TTP, which is believed to have close links to al-Qaeda, has threatened to target top leaders of Prime Minister Sharif's PML-N and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari's PPP if the ruling coalition continued to implement strict measures against the militants. 

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Pakistan had anticipated that the Afghan Taliban would stop using its territory against it after assuming power by expelling the TTP members, but they appear to have declined to do so at the expense of strained relations with Islamabad.

The TTP, which was formed in 2007 as an umbrella organisation for a number of militant groups, broke off a cease-fire with the federal government and instructed its militants to carry out terrorist strikes across the nation.

The organisation, which is thought to be affiliated with Al-Qaeda, has been held accountable for a number of violent attacks that have killed people throughout Pakistan, including an attack on the army headquarters in 2009, robberies at military installations, and the 2008 bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad.

In 2014, the Pakistani Taliban stormed the Army Public School in the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing at least 150 people, including 131 students.

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