Five soldiers killed in South Waziristan near Afghan border, at least 18 people wounded across country.
Bomb attacks in Pakistan on Wednesday left 10 people including five soldiers dead and at least 18 others wounded, officials said.
A powerful bicycle bomb exploded in a crowded car repair market in Quetta at around sunset, killing at least five people and wounding 17.
Earlier in the day five Pakistani soldiers were killed in the South Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border when a roadside bomb went off. Two soldiers died at the scene while three of the four others seriously wounded later succumbed to their injuries.
There were no immediate claims of responsibility for either attack.
“Number of martyred soldiers due to IED (Improvised Explosive Device) attack in South Waziristan has risen up to five,” said a senior security official.
Homemade roadside bombs are a major weapon for militants who attack government forces in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province and the tribal districts bordering Afghanistan.
A hospital official in Quetta, the capital of insurgency-hit Balochistan province, confirmed the death toll from the bicycle bomb attack. “We have received five bodies and 17 injured people from the blast site,” said Rasheed Jamali, a doctor at Quetta’s civil hospital. The city’s Bomb Disposal Squad said the explosive device planted in the bicycle was remote-controlled.
“Up to seven kilograms of explosives were packed in a remote control bomb planted on a bicycle in the auto repair market,” said Abdul Razaq, a senior official from the squad.
Pakistan’s northwest and southwest regions are constant targets of Islamic insurgents who carry out attacks against the minority Shia community and government forces.
The oil-and gas-rich Balochistan province bordering Afghanistan and Iran has also been badly hit by a decade-long Baloch separatist insurgency.
Police in Quetta however have not identified a target for the attack.
“Apparently, the bomb was planted in a bicycle parked in the market. We are not aware of any specific target of this attack,” said senior police official Azhar Shah.
Thousands of people have been killed in bomb and gun attacks by homegrown Islamist militants in Pakistan in recent years.
South Waziristan is one of the country’s seven semi-autonomous tribal districts which Washington considers a major hub of Taliban and Al Qaeda militants plotting attacks on the West and in Afghanistan.
Last week in Washington, U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif came together to urge the Taliban “to join the political process and enter into dialogue.”
Obama welcomed Sharif to the White House after releasing $1.6 billion in aid—mostly for the military—that had been blocked amid high tensions over the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad.