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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 May 2006, 12:26 GMT 13:26 UK
Blasts hit Pakistan police school
Police attend to an injured colleague
Police attend to a colleague hurt in Thursday's attack
At least six policemen have been killed in a series of explosions at a police training academy in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's Balochistan province.

The blasts were caused by five bombs planted in the firing range at the academy, police say.

Some officials have blamed the shadowy Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) which is fighting for autonomy there.

Correspondents say Thursday's attack is one of the most daring since the present unrest began two years ago.

'People crying'

Reports from the scene say many of the dead had lost limbs.

The wounded were rushed to nearby hospitals.

Doctors say that 11 of the injured are in critical condition. Some have been blinded or suffered hearing loss.

"As we were busy firing, suddenly there were huge blasts nearby and I heard people crying in pain amid clouds of smoke and dust," one injured policeman, Shams-ud Din, told the AFP news agency.

He said some police were firing at targets and others were near the range when he heard the succession of explosions.

"It is clear that BLA militants are behind this," Balochistan's police chief Chaudhry Mohammad Yaqoob told Reuters news agency.

Earlier this year the government banned the BLA, branding it a terrorist organisation.

The BLA has not yet commented in the explosions.

Taleban from Afghanistan battling the government and foreign troops there have also been moving into Quetta recently in search of support or shelter.

Gas-rich Balochistan has suffered continuous violence as tribal groups push for greater political and economic rights.

The BLA wants an end to military cantonments in Balochistan.

Baloch nationalists are also opposed to huge development projects arguing that they feel may marginalise the local Baloch population.

Government forces launched military operations in two districts of Balochistan in December after rockets were fired near President Pervez Musharraf when he visited the province.

According to local tribal leaders, a large number of civilians have died in the military operation since then, but this has not been confirmed by officials.


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