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Last Updated: Friday, 8 September 2006, 16:53 GMT 17:53 UK
Balochistan bombing 'kills five'
Balochistan map
At least five people have been killed and more than 20 wounded in a bomb explosion in Pakistan's south-western Balochistan province, police say.

There were conflicting reports about the blast happening near a bus station or a clinic in the town of Barkhan.

Police suspect tribal groups pushing for greater autonomy in the region to be behind the attack.

Balochistan has been in turmoil after a Pakistan military raid recently killed rebel leader Nawab Akbar Bugti.

Police say it is not yet confirmed that the bombing is linked to the killing of Mr Bugti.

People injured in the explosion have been moved to a local hospital, Balochistan police officer Hafiz Inayat told news agencies.

"The death told may rise because some of the wounded are in critical condition," he said.

Violent protests

Nawab Akbar Bugti's death nearly two weeks ago triggered days of protests across Balochistan in which a number of people died.

Mr Bugti, a former chief minister of Balochistan, had campaigned for years for the gas-rich province to be given greater autonomy and a larger share of natural resources.

But the Pakistani authorities accused him of leading an armed insurgency against the state.

Baloch militant groups have regularly mounted bomb attacks on pipelines and other targets in the region.

Barkhan lies to the north of a conflict zone where troops have long been battling Mr Bugti's armed men, the BBC's Barbara Plett in Islamabad reports.

The charismatic leader died when his remote cave hideout collapsed during a military raid.

The authorities denied targeting him, but few in Balochistan, or indeed the rest of the country, believe them, our correspondent says.

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