Pakistan: Gunfight With Militants Kills 6 Soldiers, Civilian in Baluchistan

Pakistani authorities said Saturday that a drawn-out overnight gun battle with "terrorists" in southwestern Baluchistan province had killed six soldiers and a civilian, as well as the six attackers.

Six others were said to have been wounded.

"In the process of clearance operation, seven sons of the soil, including a civilian, have embraced martyrdom while another six individuals, including a woman, have been injured," the military’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations, said.

The violence erupted Friday evening when "well-equipped" militants assaulted a main paramilitary compound about 100 kilometers north of the provincial capital of Quetta, the ISPR said.

The ensuing clashes and "clearance operation" had continued into Saturday morning, killing "all six terrorists" involved in the attack, according to the ISPR.

The assailants had taken families, including women and children, hostage in a residential block who were rescued by security forces.

A recently emerged so-called Tehreek-e-Jihad Pakistan militant group claimed responsibility for the attack in natural resources-rich but impoverished Baluchistan, bordering Afghanistan and Iran.

The province routinely experiences attacks on security forces and installations. The violence is mostly claimed by ethnic Baluch insurgents, militants linked to the outlawed Pakistani Taliban, and those linked to the Islamic State group.

Militant attacks have lately increased across Pakistan, particularly in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which also shares a large part of the country's long border with Afghanistan.

Officials say the violence has killed hundreds of people, mostly soldiers, and members of the Pakistani police force since the beginning of the year.

Source: Voice of America