A suspected suicide bomber today killed an Additional Inspector General and three other police officers in Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province, officials said, in the latest targeted attack on security forces in the restive region.
The blast targeted the vehicle of Additional Inspector General (AIG) Telecommunications Hamid Shakeel who was passing through a residential area in the provincial capital Quetta.
Shakeel was killed along with two police officials while six others, including three officers, were injured, police said.
One of the wounded officers later succumbed to his injuries in the hospital, taking the toll to four.
Hours after the attack, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack, media reports said.
The TV footage showed that the vehicle was badly damaged in the attack.
Shakeel has served as Deputy Inspector General (DIG) operations, acting DIG investigations and AIG operations, as well as holding a number of other key posts.
The injured have been shifted to Combined Military Hospital (CMH) and Civil Hospital in Quetta, police said, adding that the initial probe showed that it was a suicide bombing.
The area has been cordoned off and a search operation has been launched in the surrounding areas.
Balochistan Governor Muhammad Khan Achakzai and Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri have strongly condemned the attack.
The culprits behind the attack would be brought to justice. The government will not bow down before terrorists, Zehri was quoted as saying by the local media.
Balochistan has been rocked by a series of attacks which raised concerns about a growing militant presence, including those affiliated with Islamic State, which has claimed several bombings in the restive province.
The unrest has raised security concerns for projects in the USD 50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor, a transport and energy link from western China to Pakistan's southern Gwadar port.
At least six police commandos and a civilian were killed last month when an explosives-laden vehicle rammed into a security force's convoy on the Quetta-Sibi Highway.
In August this year, a massive suicide explosion, targeting Pakistan Army personnel in Quetta, left 15 people dead including seven civilians and injured at least 20 people.
In June this year, 14 people, including seven policemen, were killed and 21 others were injured in a suicide car bombing on Gulistan Road in Balochistan.