Pakistan calls on Taliban to prevent attacks after suicide bombing

Pakistan on Thursday asked the Taliban who rule neighboring Afghanistan to prevent terrorist attacks from its soil, a day after a suicide bombing in southwestern Pakistan caused shock and anger in the whole country.

The bombing killed four people and appears to have been aimed at police officers protecting a polio vaccination campaign in the area. Islamabad blamed the attack on Pakistani Taliban militants hiding across the border in Afghanistan.

In a press conference, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan said recent allegations by the Pakistani Taliban confirmed the threat that Afghanistan would turn into in a haven for militants, despite the Taliban’s rulers saying they would prevent such attacks from being launched from their lands after they took control of Afghanistan last year.

Khan said that if the Pakistani Taliban’s claim that they were behind Wednesday’s attack in Quetta is true, it “should be of concern to the Afghan (Taliban) government.”

Authorities said the attack killed a policeman and three civilians, when the attacker blew himself up near a police truck.

The bombing also injured twenty-three other people, which prompted statewide condemnation in general.

The attack occurred in Quetta, the capital and largest city of Baluchistan province, as police were accompanying a medical campaign to fight polio as part of a national vaccination campaign that began last Monday.

The explosion was so powerful that it knocked over the truck carrying the police in a valley.

The latest violence comes after the Pakistani Taliban ended its ceasefire with Islamabad this week, promising to resume attacks immediately in the whole country.

On Wednesday, the Pakistani Taliban said it had launched the attack in Balochistan to avenge the killing of its former spokesman, Abdul Wali, known as Omar Khaled Khorasani. And that he was killed in an explosion that occurred in the Afghan province of Paktika last August.

However, Inayatullah Khwarizmi, spokesman for the Taliban government’s defense ministry in Afghanistan, has denied the Pakistani allegations.

The Pakistani Taliban is a separate group, but allied with the Afghan Taliban, who have seized power in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US and NATO forces last year.

The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan has given impetus and encouragement to their Pakistani allies, whose top commanders and fighters are hiding out in the neighboring country.

Before ending the ceasefire, the Pakistani Taliban senior leaders held numerous round of interviews of pace with Pakistani officials in Kabul, after the Afghan Taliban encouraged both sides to do so.

After a ceasefire was agreed last May, each side accused the other of violating terms, until the Pakistani Taliban announced its unilateral resolution this week.

Since then, the Pakistani Taliban has stepped up attacks on security forces in former tribal areas bordering Afghanistan and elsewhere in the country.

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