Wed, 28 Oct 2020

Pakistani officials say 14 security troops have been killed in two attacks in the country's northwestern and southwestern regions bordering Afghanistan.

Six members of the paramilitary Frontier Corps died in an ambush in the restive Balochistan Province on October 15, the military said.

A statement from the Armed Forces' Inter-Services Public Relations said the troops were killed when attackers opened fire with automatic weapons and rocket launchers on a convoy of the state-owned oil- and gas-exploration company OGDCL.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, in which several vehicles of the military and the OGDCL were destroyed.

The resource-rich southwestern province of Balochistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran, has been plagued by sectarian violence, attacks by Islamist militants, and a separatist insurgency that has led to thousands of casualties since 2004.

In Pakistan's northwestern tribal region bordering Afghanistan, officials told RFE/RL that eight soldiers were killed in two separate attacks on October 14.

Six of them died after their vehicles struck two roadside bombs in the Shaktoi area of the South Waziristan district, police officer Shaukat Ali and intelligence sources said.

Ali said a captain was among those killed in the first blast. As another military vehicle rushed to the scene, a second explosion killed five more soldiers.

The attacks were claimed by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), also known as the Pakistani Taliban.

The Pakistani military said one soldier was killed and another wounded in a separate attack on a border security post in the Bajaur tribal district.

The military's media wing tweeted that "terrorists" had fired from the Afghan side of the frontier.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for that attack.

Bajaur and South Waziristan are both located in Pakistan's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.

Pakistan's border areas served as a militant base until recent years when Pakistan said its operations there had cleared the area of the Taliban and other militant groups.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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