Intl desk, Oct 15: At least 20 soldiers from the army and a paramilitary force were killed in two separate attacks in Pakistan’s Balochistan’s Gwadar district and the North Waziristan tribal district, officials said on Thursday.
In the first incident, at least six security personnel were martyred in a militant attack on a convoy of state-run Oil & Gas Development Company Ltd (OGDCL) on the Makran Coastal Highway in Ormara, Balochistan on Thursday, the military’s media wing Inter-Services Public Relations said in a statement.
Terrorists used an improvised explosive device to target the convoy, the statement said.
Balochistan is key to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, part of Beijing’s regional Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.
The corridor seeks to connect China’s western province of Xinjiang with Gwadar, giving Beijing access to the Arabian Sea.
In the second incident, at least 14 soldiers were killed when gunmen attacked security forces in Pakistan’s volatile Balochistan province, Sajjad Hussain, a police spokesperson in Quetta said.
The incident took place on the Makran Coastal highway in the Gwadar district of the south-western province, when unidentified gunmen attacked a convoy belonging to the paramilitary force Frontier Corps.
Mr Hussain said that two of the convoy’s three vehicles were destroyed after being hit by rocket launchers.
Balochistan, Pakistan’s largest and most volatile province that borders both Afghanistan and Iran, is being targeted by militants, sectarian groups and sub-nationalist rebels.
Gwadar is a coastal region near the Iranian border where China has built a deep seaport as part of its multi-billion-dollar investment project in Pakistan, which is opposed by Baloch separatists.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks so far.
In 2019, gunmen wearing military uniforms ambushed a bus that was travelling to Gwadar from the provincial capital Quetta, killing 14 passengers, including officials from Pakistan’s navy.
Source: Premium Times