4 police dead in roadside bomb blast in restive southwest

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A roadside bomb killed four police officers and injured eight others as they moved through a restive area in southwest Pakistan on Friday, a senior elected official and police said.

The attack happened in the town of Sui, in the province of Balochistan. No one claimed responsibility, but suspicion fell on separatist groups who claimed responsibility for such attacks on security forces in the region.

Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo, the province’s chief minister, condemned the bombing and called it an act of terrorism. He pledged to do everything possible to arrest those who orchestrated the attack.

Bizenjo said the killed and injured were part of a special local police force known as the Peace Force.

The latest attack came two days after militants raided a security post in Balochistan, triggering a shootout that killed 10 soldiers and an assailant. Balochistan has been the scene of a long-running insurgency, with an array of separatist groups launching attacks, mostly against government troops and police.

Separatists in the province are demanding independence from the central government in Islamabad. Although the Pakistani government claims to have suppressed the insurgency, violence in Balochistan has persisted.

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