At least six security personnel, including an Army major, were killed after a roadside bomb struck a patrol vehicle in southwestern Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province, close to the border with Iran on Friday.
The Army said in a statement that a vehicle of paramilitary Frontier Corps was targeted through a remote-controlled improvised explosive device (IED) in Kech district’s Buleda area, about 14 km from the Iran border.
A major and five soldiers were killed while one soldier was injured, according to the Army.
On Saturday, Baloch militants claimed responsibility for the attack.
According to the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), the roadside bomb was planted by its operatives and it will continue its struggle until the establishment of an independent homeland and a free society”.
BLA is a banned entity in Pakistan. It was also declared a terrorist group by the US in 2019.
A search operation was launched by the security forces in the area to trace the elements involved in the attack.
It is the first major attack on the forces in Balochistan since the outbreak of COVID-19.
On April 11, at least seven terrorists and two soldiers were killed in an operation conducted by the Pakistani security forces in North Waziristan.
In 2019, a roadside bomb attack in Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal district killed three army officers and a soldier.
In 2017, a hand grenade attack at a restaurant in Pakistan’s Balochistan province left 20 labourers injured.
Such attacks in the past have been mostly attributed to nationalist groups who want Baloch people to work in place of Sindhi and Punjabi labourers.