Militant ambush kills 5 paramilitary troops in Pakistan
Militants on Monday ambushed a security convoy in southwestern Balochistan province killing at least five paramilitary troops and injuring another six, officials and local media reported, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.
The attack occurred in the remote Turbat district, a stronghold of Baloch separatists, located nearly 800 kilometers (497 miles) from the provincial capital Quetta, local broadcaster Dunya News reported.
Abdul Qudus Bizenjo, Balochistan's newly-elected chief minister, confirmed the incident, adding that terrorists wanted to create hurdles to progress of the province, the channel reported.
The largest province in terms of land area has been marred by violence for more than six decades with separatists claiming it was forcibly incorporated into Pakistan upon the end of the British rule in 1947.
The province is also a key route to the $54-billion mega project, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which aims to connect China's strategically important northwestern Xinxiang province to Balochistan’s Gawadar port through a network of roads, railways and pipelines to transport cargo, oil and gas.
The economic corridor will not only provide China cheaper access to Africa and the Middle East but will also earn Pakistan billions of dollars for providing transit facilities to the world’s second largest economy.
The project has faced opposition from separatists who see this as yet another bid by Islamabad to “steal” their resources with the help of China.
In the past, Chinese workers have been attacked, killed and kidnapped in southwestern and northwestern Pakistan, including in the area of the port in Gawadar, by Baloch separatists and Taliban militants.
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