At least seven paramilitary troops were killed in a terrorist attack on a check post in southwestern Pakistan, the military said in a statement on Sunday.
The raid occurred on late Saturday night in the Harnai district of Balochistan province, which is a key route to the multi-billion dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
“Terrorist fire raid on Frontier Corps Balochistan post in Sharig, Harnai, Balochistan late last night. During the intense exchange of fire, seven brave soldiers embraced shahadat [martyrdom] while repulsing raiding terrorists,” it said in a statement.
Terrorists fire raid on Frontier Corps Balochistan post in Sharig, Harnai, Balochistan late last night. During intense exchange of fire, 7 brave soldiers embraced shahadat while repulsing raiding terrorists. Area has been cordoned off and escape routes have been blocked (1/3)
— DG ISPR (@OfficialDGISPR) December 27, 2020
Security forces cordoned off the area, and launched a “large scale” search and clearance operation to apprehend the attackers.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Baloch separatists frequently carry out attacks in the mineral-rich province.
In October, a gun and rocket attack targeting a paramilitary escort in the town of Ormara killed seven soldiers and seven private security guards.
Militants, which Islamabad accuses have backing from New Delhi, have also targeted the Chinese consulate and Pakistan Stock Exchange buildings in Karachi in the recent past.
CPEC, the $64 billion flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative, aims to connect China’s strategic northwestern Xinxiang province to the Gwadar seaport through a network of roads, railways and pipelines to transport cargo, oil, and gas.
Pak army helicopter crashes in GB
At least four soldiers including two pilots of the Pakistani army were martyred in a helicopter crash in the northern areas of the country, the army said on late Saturday.
According to the Inter-Services Public Relations’ (ISPR) statement, the helicopter crashed due to technical reasons during a casualty evacuation operation in the Minimarg area of Gilgit Baltistan.
Both pilots — Major M. Hussain and Co-Pilot Major Ayaz Hussain, Naik Inzimam Alam, and soldier Muhammad Farooq claimed martyrdom in the crash, the army confirmed.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk