QUETTA: Three people were killed and 23 others were injured when a suicide bomber targeted a police truck in western Pakistan on Wednesday, an official said. The domestic Taliban chapter has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Although different from the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Pakistani Taliban, also known as the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), adheres to a similar hardline Islamist ideology.
The group ordered the resumption of all attacks on Monday after announcing the end of a summer truce with Islamabad.
Senior police officer Azhar Mahesar told AFP that the Quetta, Pakistan, blast was aimed at killing "a policeman, a woman and a child" and that the police team was getting ready to escort polio vaccine providers.
The TTP claimed responsibility for the attack and promised more details soon in a statement to AFP.
The organization was founded in 2007 by Pakistani jihadists who fought alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan before criticizing Islamabad for its support of the US intervention there after the 9/11 attacks.
They controlled large areas of Pakistan's arid tribal belt for a time, enforcing a strict interpretation of Islamic law and patrolling only 140 km (85 mi) from the country's capital.
In 2014, TTP terrorists raided a school for the children of army personnel and killed around 150 people, most of them students, prompting a strong retaliation from the Pakistan Army.
Although most of its fighters were deported to neighboring Afghanistan, Islamabad claims the Taliban in Kabul are now giving the TTP a foothold to launch cross-border attacks.
According to the Pak Institute for Peace Studies, terrorist attacks in Pakistan have increased by 50% since the Taliban took back control of Afghanistan (PIPS).
Most of these attacks are concentrated in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, neighboring western provinces of Afghanistan.
Pakistan was badly shaken by the 2014 school attack, and the TTP has since vowed to attack only state security forces.
The only places in the world that still have wild polio outbreaks are Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In western areas, polio vaccination teams are often escorted by the police, and the TTP has developed a habit of ambushing officers entering troubled areas.
A week-long vaccination campaign was launched by Pakistani authorities on Monday with the goal of vaccinating more than 13 million children living in "high-risk districts".
Pakistan announced its first case of polio in 15 months in April. According to the government-funded End Polio Pakistan program, 20 cases have been reported.