Seven soldiers have been martyred in two separate terror attacks in Balochistan, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Tuesday.
The province hosts a major deep-water port in the town of Gwadar, a pivotal part of the $60bn China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
According to the ISPR statement, terrorists targeted a vehicle of the Frontier Corps (FC) in Mach using improvised explosive devices (IEDs), claiming the lives of six Pakistan Army soldiers. Their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb while returning to its base camp after routine patrolling duty in the Pir Ghaib area, about 55km (34 miles) southeast of the provincial capital Quetta, late on Monday.
In a separate incident at Kech, another soldier, Sipahi Imdad Ali was martyred in an exchange of fire with militants.
Almost 2 weeks ago five Frontier Corps (FC) soldiers and one officer were martyred after their vehicle was targeted with an improvised explosive device (IED) near the Pakistan-Iran border.
In a tweet, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said the security personnel were returning from patrolling in Buleda — 14 kilometres from the Pakistan-Iran border — to “check possible routes used by terrorists in the mountainous terrain of Makran”. That attack was claimed by the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), an armed group calling for independence for the ethnic Baloch areas of the province. As yet no one has claimed responsibility for the latest attack.
Also, just over a week ago a statement claiming to be from the Baluchistan Liberation Army claimed responsibility for an armed attack against a hotel in the city of Gwadar in Baluchistan province. The statemen t added: “Expect more attacks China and Pakistan.”
A Pakistani military official said that the gunmen had killed a security guard at the hotel entrance. The Chinese Embassy in Islamabad said that two other security agents had been wounded.
The hotel, the Zaver Pearl Continental in the city of Gwadar in Baluchistan Province, is frequently used by top government officials and Chinese workers employed on a port project in the area.
In claiming responsibility for the attack, the separatist group said that four gunmen had carried out the assault and that it was linked to the presence of Chinese and other foreign investors at the hotel
Overall, there was a slight increase in casualties caused by militant attacks in Pakistan in April compared to the previous month.
Militants appear to be trying to get back some territory in North Waziristan tribal district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where 90 per cent of casualties in violent incidents during the month of April occurred.
A slight increase is also observed in activities of Pakistani security forces against militants. An Islamabad-based think tank, Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), recorded a total of nine militant attacks during April in which 18 people died — 10 security personnel and eight militants — while six security forces personnel got injured. Tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (erstwhile Fata) witnessed the highest number of violent militant activities, where six out of total nine attacks took place.
No militant activity was recorded in Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and other parts of Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Pakistani security forces carried out a total of 16 actions against militants in areas of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, erstwhile Fata, and Sindh. Pakistani forces arrested 12 suspects involved in different terror and anti-state activities, including eight from Sindh and four from KP. Four members of Al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent were also arrested in Karachi.
An assistant sub-inspector of police was arrested for his alleged ties with Indian intelligence agency RAW (Research and Analysis Wing). During an information-based raid on Karachi University, security forces recovered weapons, ammunition, computers, anti-state literature, maps, and checkboxes.
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