Wed, 20 Mar 2019

At least six paramilitary troops were killed in southwestern Pakistan on December 14 when their convoy came under attack in a mountainous area near the border with Iran in the southwestern province of Balochistan, officials said.

Balochistan has been the theater of several attacks on security personnel recently, but the number of large-scale incidents has decreased significantly since 2016.

Six members of the Frontier Corps (FC) paramilitary force in charge of security in the region were killed in 'heavy' firing along a mountainous stretch of road in the Kech district, the province's information minister, Zahoor Ahmed Buledi, said.

'Six FC men embraced martyrdom while 14 others were wounded in the gun attack,' Buledi said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Islamist militants linked to the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and Islamic State have been operating in the mineral-rich province, which borders Iran and Afghanistan. An indigenous ethnic Baloch insurgency is under way against the central government.

Last month, three men from the separatist Baloch Liberation Army stormed the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan's southern metropolis of Karachi, killing four people, including two police officers.

China is investing in the area under a $54 billion project known as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which aims at upgrading infrastructure, power, and transport links between its western Xinjiang region and Pakistan's Gwadar port.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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