Suicide bombing in southwestern Pakistan kills 9 policemen

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — A suicide bomber riding on a motorcycle rammed into a police truck in Pakistan's restive southwest, killing at least nine policemen and wounding seven, officials said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing, which took place on a bridge in the district of Sibi in Baluchistan province, but Baluch separatists and local militants have been blamed for previous such attacks.

Mahmood Notenzai, a local police chief, said the officers were on a routine patrol when the attack happened. The casualties have been taken to a nearby hospital, he added. Sibi is located about 150 kilometers (90 miles) east of Quetta, the provincial capital.

Baluchistan has long struggled with a low-level insurgency by the Baluchistan Liberation Army and other small separatist groups demanding independence from the central government in Islamabad.

Authorities claim to have quelled the insurgency but violence has persisted. The province has also seen attacks by militants from both the Pakistani Taliban and the Islamic State group.

The Associated Press