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Car bomb kills two soldiers in southwest Pakistan

A rescue worker and security official collect evidence from a burned bus at the site of a bomb blast in Quetta June 15, 2013. REUTERS/Naseer Ahmed

QUETTA, Pakistan: A car bomb hit a paramilitary van escorting a bus of Shiite Muslim pilgrims in southwest Pakistan on Saturday, killing two soldiers, officials said.

The incident took place in Dringhar area, on the main Quetta-Taftan Highway in Mastung district, some 50 kilometers (30 miles) southwest of Quetta, the capital of insurgency-hit Baluchistan province, which suffers regular violence from Islamist insurgents, separatist rebels and sectarian militants.

"The bomb exploded after an FC (Paramilitary Frontier Corps) vehicle stopped to check a parked car," Sayed Mehrab Shah, a senior government official in Mastung told AFP.

All the pilgrims on the bus, who were on their way to Iran, were safe but several security personnel were wounded by the remotely triggered bomb, Shah said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast but most attacks in the oil-and gas-rich province bordering Afghanistan and Iran have been linked to a decade-long Baluch separatist insurgency or sectarian violence.

Abdul Wasay, spokesman for the paramilitary Frontier Corps confirmed the attack and told AFP that rescue teams had been despatched to the area.

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