Turkey on Sunday offered its condolences to Pakistan after a terrorist attack on one of its check posts in the southwestern Balochistan province left several paramilitary troops dead.
“We are saddened to learn that 11 members of the Pakistan Armed Forces have lost their lives in today’s (27th December) terrorist attack in Balochistan province and the helicopter crash in Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Condemning the attack, the statement went on to say: “We wish Allah’s mercy upon those who lost their lives in the terror attack and helicopter crash, swift recovery to the injured and convey our condolences to the friendly and brotherly people and Government of Pakistan.”
Read more: Pak army helicopter crashes in GB, four soldiers martyred
Terrorist raid check post in Balochistan
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.
Saddened to hear of 7 brave soldiers martyrdom as a result of terrorist attack on FC post in Harnai Balochistan late last night. My heartfelt condolences & prayers go to their families. Our nation stands with our courageous soldiers who face attacks from Indian backed terrorists.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) 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.
Read more: 14 soldiers martyred in Balochistan: Who was behind the attack?
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.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk