Six Pakistani soldiers, including an officer, were killed in a landmine explosion in southern Balochistan on Friday, according to a Pakistani military spokesman. The explosion, triggered by a remote-controlled device, exploded on a road 14 km from the Pakistan-Iran border.
A military spokesman said the South Balochistan Border Corps vehicle was attacked when returning from Buleda, a small valley north of Turbat in the Kech district. The military statement said the army had gone to inspect possible routes used by terrorists in the mountainous region of Mekran.
The officer was identified by the military as Major Nadeem Abbas Bhatti, a resident of Hafizabad in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
One local media outlet like The Balochistan Post said Baloch’s armed group have fought for independence, Baloch Liberation Army, has claimed responsibility for the attack. Another website said Baloch Raaji Ajoi Sangar, a coalition of four armed groups, also claimed responsibility.
The Baloch Liberation Army statement accused the military officers killed in the attack of being “directly involved in forming and leading criminal squads called criminal gangs operated by the army” in the Kech region. The statement also accused military officers of helping drug dealers and arming them against rebels.
“The Pakistani military has launched operations in Tigran and other Turbat areas over the past few days, targeting Baloch civilians, including harassing women and children,” the Balochistan Post said, quoting a BLA spokesman.