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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

19 killed in Pakistan terror attacks

4 troops, 6 civilians killed in 2 separate terror attacks in southwestern Balochistan province

At least 19 people, including four troops and nine suspected militants, were killed and several injured Tuesday in two separate terror attacks in southwest Pakistan, according to the military.

“Multiple” terrorists, including suicide bombers, attacked the Mach and Kolpur areas in southwestern Balochistan province, which was “effectively” responded to by security forces, said a statement from the Pakistan Army.

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Nine suspected terrorists, including three suicide bombers, “have been sent to hell till now,” while three were injured.

During an “intense” exchange of fire, according to the statement, four troops and two civilians were also killed.

Another four people were killed in a roadside blast in the Sibi district, said an official.

The blast, the latest in a string of terror attacks, occurred minutes after an election rally passed the explosion site.

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Deputy Commissioner Sibi, Khuda-e-Rahim confirmed the casualties to Anadolu and said five victims were also injured in the blast, three critically.

He said it was premature to say if the rally organized by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI) of incarcerated former Prime Minister Imran Khan was the target of the blast.

But PTI’s Balochistan Secretary-General Salar Khan Kakar wrote on X that the rally was the target of the blast, which he said killed three workers and injured several.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, however, ethnic Baloch separatists and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan have long been targeting security forces in the region.

The large Balochistan province, which touches neighboring Iran and Afghanistan, is strategically important due to its rich copper, zinc and natural gas reserves.

The province is also a key route in the $64 billion mega project Pakistan–China Economic Corridor (PCEC), which aims to connect China’s strategically important northwestern Xinxiang province to Balochistan’s Gawadar port through a network of roads, railways and pipelines for cargo, oil and gas transportation.