Bombing at seminary kills 14 in southwest Pakistan

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A bomb attached to a bicycle exploded outside a seminary in southwestern Pakistan on Thursday, killing at least 14 people, police said.

More than 40 people were wounded in the attack in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, senior police officer Hamid Shakil said.

Most among the dead and wounded were students at the Sunni Muslim seminary, he said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility, and the motive for the bombing was unclear.

At the time the bomb went off, hundreds of students, teachers and parents were in the Jamia Islamia Maftah-ul-Uloom seminary, attending a ceremony to award certificates to students who had completed their basic religious education, said another police officer, Anwer Kakar.

Baluchistan borders Afghanistan to the west and is believed to be a refuge for Taliban and Pakistani militants. It has also witnessed a decades-long insurgency by renegade tribal elders and nationalists who demand greater autonomy and a larger share of the province's resources like natural gas and oil extracted from there.

Also, there have been scores of sectarian attacks blamed on Sunni militants with links to the Afghan Taliban who target Shiite Muslims. Many Sunni extremists do not consider Shiites to be true Muslims.

In October, gunmen on the outskirts of Quetta stopped two buses and pulled off the passengers. After singling out the Shiite passengers, they lined them up against the bus and shot them; thirteen people were killed in the incident, one of the worst acts of sectarian violence in or around the city in recent years.