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Suspected Baluch Insurgents Kill 6 Pakistani Soldiers

Baluchistan, Pakistan
Baluchistan, Pakistan

Suspected insurgents in southwestern Pakistan on Monday ambushed and killed six paramilitary soldiers.

Officials said the rocket-and-gun attack on a Frontier Corps patrol in the troubled Awaran district in Baluchistan province also wounded two soldiers.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack in a district where militants linked to outlawed separatist Baluch Liberation Front (BLA) are active.

Several insurgent groups are operating in the natural-resource rich largest Pakistani province, which borders Afghanistan and Iran. Pakistani officials say sustained security operations over the years have weakened the militants.

Insurgents linked to the Taliban also allegedly use Baluchistan as a shelter for plotting attacks inside Afghanistan, charges Islamabad rejects.

The province hosts several mega infrastructure-related projects being built under a multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC, cooperation deal. The Chinese-operated Arabian Sea port of Gwadar, which is central to CPEC, is also located in Baluchistan.

Pakistan has trained and deployed a special military-led unit of thousands of soldiers to protect the CPEC projects against insurgent attacks.