A car bomb targeting a police vehicle killed 11 policemen and one civilian today in an area of southwest Pakistan wracked by a separatist insurgency and Islamic militancy, police said. The bombing on the outskirts of Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, also wounded 23 people, said a police rep. The car was packed with around 220 pounds of explosives and was parked alongside a road in the city. It was detonated by remote control when a vehicle carrying members of the police's special forces team passed by.
An eyewitness said the blast "was so loud, we thought something had fallen from the sky." Local TV footage showed that the bomb completely destroyed the police vehicle. The special forces unit that was targeted was put together months ago to deal with increasing incidents of kidnappings and shootings in Baluchistan, police said. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. Separatist insurgents have been waging a bloody fight against the government for decades; the province is also home to many Islamic militants, including Taliban chief Mullah Omar, according to many intelligence assessments.