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US missiles kill 16 militants in NW Pakistan

Associated Press Modified: October 11, 2012 at 1:31 pm •  Published: October 11, 2012

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombings, but nationalists in Baluchistan have long waged a low-level insurgency to pressure the government to increase the local share of funds from resources such as natural gas that are extracted from the province.

Islamist militants, including the al-Qaida affiliated group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, also operate in Baluchistan.

The market bombing Thursday took place in the town of Sibi in Baluchistan, and it also wounded 24 people, said senior police officer, Ghulam Aali Lashari.

Lashari said the blast destroyed several shops in the town, about 150 kilometers (90 miles) east of Quetta, the provincial capital.

Hours later, a roadside bomb struck a vehicle carrying security officers in the southwestern town of Dera Bugti. That attack killed three officers and wounded two, said police officer Shehbaz Khan.

Also Thursday, gunmen kidnapped a retired Pakistani army brigadier who was working under contract with the country's intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence. The abduction took place on the outskirts of the capital, Islamabad, shortly after the officer left his home for work, said a police and a security official.

The officer's driver resisted and was shot and killed, said the two officials, who both spoke on condition anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss sensitive issues with reporters. They requested that the kidnapped officer's name be withheld because his safety could be compromised if it were disclosed.

One of the officials said the officer was working on a counterterrorism assignment but would not disclose the exact nature of the mission.


Associated Press Writers Asif Shehzad in Islamabad, Rasool Dawar in Peshawar and Abdul Sattar in Quetta contributed to this report.