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Blast at rally in Pakistan kills 3

  • Story Highlights
  • Blast in Jaffarabad, Balochistan, killed three people and wounded at least 20
  • Gathering was commemorating death of Governor Bugti killed in a military raid
  • Bugti turned against government amid disputes on natural gas revenue distribution
  • Militants in Balochistan have been fighting Pakistani military forces for self-rule
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- A blast at a rally in southwestern Pakistan killed three people and wounded at least 20 others Tuesday, authorities said.

The blast took place in Jaffarabad, in Pakistan's largest province, Balochistan, said police officer Abdul Majid Bangar.

Supporters had gathered to commemorate the second anniversary of the death of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, the British-educated former governor of Balochistan who was killed in a 2006 military raid.

Balochistan is a province near the Afghan border that is rich in natural gas.

Bugti turned against the national government amid disputes over the distribution of natural gas revenues extracted from tribal territories.

Militants in Balochistan have for years complained that the central government has paid little attention to them and their economic needs. They have been fighting Pakistani military forces for self-rule.

More recently, the province has seen an influx of Afghan refugees. And the Afghan government believes that key Taliban leaders may be hiding among them.

Pakistan has said the militants in Balochistan do not have links to the Islamic hard-liners who have launched assaults in other parts of the country.

Soon after the ruling Pakistan People's Party swept into power in February elections, it called for an end to military operations in Balochistan, the largest of Pakistan's four provinces.

It said it would work toward giving "maximum provincial autonomy" to the area.

CNN's Reza Sayah contributed to this report.

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