Panjgur district
Panjgur district

ISLAMABAD - Unknown gunmen in southwestern Pakistan ambushed a security forces' convoy, killing at least three soldiers and injuring three others Monday.

Local authorities said the convoy of the paramilitary Frontier Corps was returning from a counterinsurgency operation when it was attacked in the remote Panjgur district of Baluchistan province.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the deadly assault.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has "strongly" condemned the attack and "expressed grief over loss of precious lives of [Frontier Corps] officials," his office said in a statement.

Panjgur borders Iran in the natural resource-rich Pakistani province, where militants, including Baloch separatists, are active and routinely attack security forces.

Islamic State has also emerged as a new challenge for Pakistani security forces and has taken credit for some of the recent attacks in Baluchistan.

The province is home to the deep-water port of Gwadar on the Arabian Sea, key to a multibillion dollar project China has undertaken in Pakistan.

The China-Pakistan Corridor, or CPEC, aims to build roads, rails and power plants to link the two countries.

Pakistani officials accuse rival India of supporting militant groups to foment trouble in Baluchistan to undermine CPEC, charges New Delhi denies.