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KARACHI, May 13 — One person was killed and 12 injured in a bomb blast late Thursday in Karachi, police said, just two weeks after a suicide attack by a Pakistan separatist group killed four in the same city.

The explosion tore through the Saddar neighbourhood of Pakistan’s most populous city at around 11:00pm (1800 GMT).

“Initial investigation suggested that the explosive material was planted in a motorcycle that was parked near a trash bin,” said local police station house officer Sajjad Khan.

The target of the attack was not immediately announced.

However Khan said a coast guard vehicle was among “several” damaged in the blast while the one person slain was a “passerby”.

Last month a female suicide bomber killed four people, including three Chinese nationals, in an attack on a minibus carrying staff from a Beijing cultural programme at Karachi University.

The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) — a group fighting for independence in Pakistan’s largest and most impoverished province — claimed responsibility for the April 26 strike.

China has made massive energy and infrastructure investments in Balochistan under a US$54 billion (RM237 billion) scheme known as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

However the programme has put Chinese citizens in the crosshairs of Baloch separatists, who say local residents do not see their fair share of riches from natural resources in the region.

In April 2021 a suicide bomb attack at a luxury hotel hosting the Chinese ambassador in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan, killed four and wounded dozens. 

The ambassador was unhurt.

And this January Baloch separatists killed three and wounded 22 in a bombing on the eastern megacity of Lahore.

More widely, Pakistan has been witnessing an uptick in militant attacks.

The Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies said assaults rose by 24 per cent between March and April. — AFP


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