At least six Army personnel including an officer, were killed on Sunday in two separate clashes with militants in Pakistan’s troubled southwestern Balochistan province.
Separately, 15 people were injured in a series of grenade attacks carried out by militants in different parts of the province.
Pakistan military’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said in a statement that five soldiers were killed in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast during a clearance operation in the Kahan area of Balochistan.
According to the statement, a clearance operation based on credible intelligence has been underway in the Kahan area since Saturday.
“Such cowardly acts by inimical elements cannot sabotage the hard-earned peace and prosperity in Balochistan,” it said.
A separate operation has been continuing in the Sambaza area of Zhob in Balochistan for the last 96 hours to deny terrorists the use of a few suspected routes to move across the Pakistan-Afghanistan Border to sneak into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa along the interprovincial boundary and target citizens and security forces, according to the army.
A group of terrorists was intercepted in the early hours of Sunday leading to a gun battle with security forces, it said.
During the ensuing heavy exchange of fire, one terrorist was killed, while a soldier also died, the army said, adding that two soldiers were injured in the clashes.
The terrorists were supported by their facilitators from across the border (Afghanistan), it said.
The sanitization operation continues in the area to apprehend the remaining perpetrators, it said.
Meanwhile, in a series of hand grenade explosions carried out by suspected militants, at least 15 people were injured in Quetta, Lasbella, and Khuzdar in the province, bordering Afghanistan.
Officials said the first-hand grenade attack took place on Quetta’s Sabzal Road in which four people were injured while later in the day seven people, including a policeman, were wounded after the attack on a police checkpost in the Chalo Bawari area of Quetta’s Satellite Town.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Abdul Haq Umrani said the injured were moved to the hospital for treatment.
Lasbela SSP Dostain Dashti said that three people were injured from a grenade blast in front of Saddar police station in Hub while militants on motorcycles had also thrown hand grenades outside a police station in Khuzdar.
The fifth grenade blast of the day took place in Kech district’s Turbat but no one was injured.
No one has claimed responsibility for the five attacks so far.
Balochistan Minister for Home Affairs Mir Ziaullah Langove strongly condemned the incident and summoned a report from the authorities concerned.
“The security of entry and exit routes should be tightened,” he ordered.
The latest incidents come at the heels of increasing acts of militancy in the country, following the withdrawal of a ceasefire with the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan militant group