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Asia-Pacific

Eighteen killed in Pakistan Independence Day violence

media Reuters/Amir Hussain

Bomb, gun and rocket attacks killed 18 Pakistanis in flashpoints bordering Afghanistan on Sunday as the country celebrated Independence Day, officials said.

Fourteen civilians were killed and 16 wounded when a bomb ripped through a roadside restaurant in the town of Dera Allah Yar, in the southwestern province of Baluchistan.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, about 400 kilometres (250 miles) southeast of Quetta, the provincial capital.

The attack came as Pakistan celebrated the 64th anniversary of independence from Britain.

Elsewhere in the province, gunmen on motorcycles shot dead a local journalist in the town of Khuzdar, police said.

Gunmen on a motorbike shot dead journalist Munir Noor when he was returning to home after shopping at a nearby market.

Noor was a correspondent of the private Online news agency.

Baluchistan has seen a recent surge in violence linked to a separatist insurgency, sectarian clashes and Taliban militants.

Local separatists rose up in 2004, demanding political autonomy and a greater share of profits from the region’s natural resources.

In the northwestern tribal belt, at least three paramilitary soldiers were killed and 25 wounded when militants fired a rocket into their camp as they prepared for an Independence Day assembly.
 

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