Bomb kills 18 on bus carrying Shiites in Pakistan

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Pakistani rescuers collect remains at the site of a suicide bombing in Rawalpindi, Pakistan,Monday, Jan. 20, 2014. A Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up not far from Pakistan’s military headquarters Monday, killing nine people a day after a militants bombing inside an army compound in the northwest of the country, officials and militants said. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (AP) — Police say a car bomb has hit a bus carrying Shiite pilgrims in a restive region of western Pakistan, killing 18 people.

Police officer Mohammad Aslam says the bomber detonated explosives planted in a car along the road when the convoy of buses returning from Iran passed by in the Dren Garh area of Mastung district Tuesday.

Aslam says one bus was damaged and caught fire. He said the death toll could rise as several of the 24 injured were in critical condition.

Dren Garh is some 60 kilometers (36 miles) west of Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province.

Baluchistan is home to an insurgency by ethnic nationalists who demand greater autonomy. Islamist militants, many of whom consider Shiites heretics, also operate in the region.