ISLAMABAD - Gunmen on motorcycles killed at least three Pakistani paramilitary forces Friday in the southwestern city of Quetta.
A splinter Pakistani Taliban group, Jamaatul Ahrar, claimed responsibility for the deadly attack. The group has claimed responsibility for most of recent attacks across the country, including a suicide bombing in Quetta in early August that left more than 70 people dead. Most of the dead in that bombing were members of the city's lawyer community.
The victims were on a routine patrol when the assailants ambushed their vehicle, a spokesman for the Frontier Corps paramilitary force said.
Quetta is the capital of southwestern Baluchistan province. Separatist ethnic Baloch insurgents and Islamist militants routinely carry out attacks against government installations, security forces and the minority Shi'ite Muslim community in the region. Fugitive leaders and fighters of the Afghan Taliban are also allegedly using the province for plotting attacks in Afghanistan.
Baluchistan is at the center of a multi-billion dollar economic corridor China and Pakistan are building to connect the two countries through a network of rail, road and power projects links.
Authorities in Islamabad allege archrival India is funding anti-state groups in Baluchistan to undermine the so-called China Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC to be completed with Chinese investment of more than $46 billion. New Delhi rejects the charges.