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Bomb blast wounds 15 in southwest Pakistan

Written by: Staff
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QUETTA, Pakistan, Sep 10 (Reuters) A cycle-bomb exploded today near a restaurant in Pakistan's troubled southwestern city of Quetta, wounding at least 15 people, police said.

''The blast occured when people were busy taking breakfast at the restaurant,'' said Qazi Wahid, a senior police offical at Quetta, the capital of gas-rich Baluchistan province.

Nobody claimed responsibility but authorities have suspected insurgents fighting for greater autonomy and a bigger share of profits from the province's resources for previous such incidents.

Tension in the province has been high since the killing of a veteran Baluch nationalist leader, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, in a government offensive on August 26.

On Friday, six people were killed when a time bomb exploded next to a clinic in the town of Rakhni.

Nationalist Baluch rebels have waged a low-key insurgency for decades but in the past year they have stepped up attacks on infrastructure, including gas pipelines, and security posts.

Several people were killed in violent street protests after Bugti's death.

The province of mountains and deserts, which shares borders with both Afghanistan and Iran, has Pakistan's biggest reserves of natural gas.

REUTERS DKA KN1410

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