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Five hurt in bomb blast in Pakistan's southwest

Written by: Staff
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QUETTA, Pakistan, July 7 (Reuters) A bomb exploded in Pakistan's southwestern city of Quetta today, wounding at least five people, police and hospital officials said.

The explosive device was strapped to a motorcycle parked outside a shop in a busy market in the provincial capital of Baluchistan, where militants are fighting for greater autonomy and more control over the province's mineral wealth.

''Five people have been wounded, one of them seriously,'' said Ghulam Mehmood Dogar, a senior superintendent of police.

Rebels regularly carry out bomb attacks on government and military installations across the region to press for their demands.

Earlier this week, the security forces killed at least 25 tribal militants in a raid on a their hideout in Dera Bugti district, in the east of Baluchistan.

The simmering revolt escalated in December when rebels fired rockets during a visit by President Pervez Musharraf to the town of Kohlu.

Militants say more than 200 people have been killed in government's crackdown in the region this year but analysts said the figure appears to be exaggerated.

REUTERS SI KN1447

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