A roadside bomb killed two police officers in the Pakistani city of Quetta on Tuesday, and another three were wounded as they foiled a suicide attack on a Shia mosque elsewhere in the country, police said.
The bomb struck a police patrol as it was dropping off officers for an evening shift, said Abdul Jan Afridi, Quetta’s police chief. The blast wounded another five police officers as well as three civilians, he added.
Earlier on Tuesday, police prevented two suicide bombers from striking a Shia mosque in the southern city of Shikarpur, police chief Bahardin Kerio said.
He said the first bomber set off his explosives when guards stopped him for a search, wounding three police and leaving one of them in critical condition. A second attacker was shot and wounded before he could detonate his suicide belt, and later arrested.
According to Kerio, the attacker who was arrested said the two came from Baluchistan, the western Pakistani province of which Quetta is the capital. Ethnic Baluch separatist groups have claimed attacks on security forces in past, and the region has also seen attacks carried out by Islamic extremists.
No group has claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s attacks, which took place during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. Last year, a suicide attacker struck a Shia mosque in Shikarpur, killing 59 people. Sunni extremists view Shia Muslims as apostates deserving of death.