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Bomb Blast Kills 6 Pakistani Troops Near Iranian Border

FILE - Baluchistan province, Pakistan
FILE - Baluchistan province, Pakistan

A bomb in southwestern Pakistan has killed at least six soldiers, including a major-rank officer, and has injured another, according to military officials.

An army statement said Friday that the deadly explosion in Baluchistan province had targeted a convoy of the Frontier Corps (FC) paramilitary force, about 14 kilometers from the border with Iran.

The troops were moving back to their base after conducting “routine patrolling … to check possible routes used by terrorists in mountainous and extremely treacherous terrain,” when a “reconnaissance vehicle” in the convoy hit an improvised explosive device, it said.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility.

The resource-rich province, Pakistan’s largest, has been experiencing a low-level separatist Baluch insurgency for years, although officials say enhanced security actions have lately reduced the violence.

Extremists linked to outlawed militant organizations, including the Pakistani Taliban and Islamic State, operate in Baluchistan, which also shares a portion of the country’s long border with Afghanistan.

Leaders of the Afghan Taliban are also believed to be sheltering in parts of the Pakistani province, where tens of thousands of Afghan refugee families reside.