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29 November 2023

14 soldiers killed in southwest Pakistan ambush


At least 14 paramilitary soldiers were killed when gunmen ambushed their vehicles in the insurgency-hit southwest Pakistani province of Baluchistan late Wednesday, officials said.

The incident took place in the town of Nawano, in the Turbat District, near the Iranian border.

The soldiers were going to their post after purchasing groceries from a nearby market, a local administration official said.

Travelling in two vehicles the soldiers were surrounded by insurgents who opened fire, killing all of them, he added.

Another official said the attack was so sudden that the soldiers did not have time to defend themselves.

He said the attackers were believed to be at least two dozen in number.

The attack was claimed by a spokesman for the Baluch Liberation Front, a militant group, in calls to television stations and newspapers.

In a similar ambush on November 21 militants killed 14 soldiers in the Musakhel District of Baluchistan province.

In December a car bomb blast in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta killed 15.

Quetta is the capital of the troubled Baluchistan province which neighbours both Afghanistan and Iran and is gripped by a regional insurgency for self-determination. It is also a flashpoint for Taliban and sectarian violence.

Wednesday's attack came a day after a remote-controlled bomb killed 35 people and wounded more than 60 others in the troubled Khyber tribal region of northwest Pakistan.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for that bombing but local residents suggested it was a tribal dispute.