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Last Updated: Monday, 12 June 2006, 08:17 GMT 09:17 UK
'Five' die in Pakistan explosion
Doctors move a blast victim at a hospital after an explosion in Quetta
The blast took place in a crowded area
At least five people have been killed in a bomb attack in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's south-western Balochistan province, police say.

Senior police officials say the bomb was planted near a city hotel where people were having tea. At least 17 people were hurt, police said.

It is not yet clear who carried out the latest attack.

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

The blast occurred on the Saryab road in the city centre, Quetta police superintendant Qazi Wahid told the BBC.

He said that people in the nearby hotel were among the casualties.

Some reports said the bomb was planted on a bicycle parked near the hotel.

Military presence

"The numbers of casualties could be high as injured are being brought to hospitals," he said.

Last week, at least 13 people were injured when a bomb exploded in Hub in Balochistan.

The shadowy Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) which is fighting for autonomy there said it had carried out that attack.

Correspondents say explosions and attacks on national installations have increased in Balochistan after the military stepped up its presence in the province.

Baloch nationalists are also opposed to huge development projects in the province, arguing that they 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.

The province has also seen sectarian violence between Pakistan's majority Sunni and minority Shia Muslims.


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