QUETTA Pakistan Jan 10 A bomb blast in a
crowded marketplace killed 11 people and injured more than 40 in
Pakistan's eastern provincial capital of Quetta on Thursday and
a local militant group claimed responsibility, police said.
Most of the dead were selling vegetables and second-hand
clothes, police officer Zubair Mehmood said. Three police
officers nearby were injured and a child was among the dead, he
The United Baloch Army claimed responsibility for the blast.
The group is one of several who are fighting for
independence for Balochistan, an arid and impoverished region
with substantial gas, copper and gold reserves.
It constitutes just under half of Pakistan's territory and
is home to about 8 million of the country's 180 million
Human rights groups say hundreds of bodies have been
recovered in the region since 2011. Many have broken limbs,
cigarette burns or other signs of torture. Local activists blame
the security services.
The state denies the accusations and says that insurgents
sometimes put on military uniforms before kidnapping people.
Sectarian attacks are also on the rise, and militant groups
frequently bomb or gun down Shia passengers on buses traveling
to neighboring Iran.