15 killed in Pakistan's southwest
Baluch rebels attacked Pakistani security forces overnight, killing 14 soldiers and a driver working for the military in clashes that raged for five hours, officials said Wednesday.
Gunmen attacked two posts in the Margut area, about 60 km east of Quetta, capital of Baluchistan. The soldiers were responsible for guarding coal mines, they said.
"A total of 15 people including 14 soldiers, one civilian driver of the Frontier Corps (FC) were killed and other 12 wounded in the attack," an FC spokesman told AFP.
A local intelligence official confirmed the toll.
Earlier, a senior military official said two dozen gunmen armed with light and heavy weapons attacked the paramilitary posts and killed 11 soldiers.
The assailants belonged to a Baluch militant group led by Harbiar Marri who is living in self-exile in London, the official said.
Wednesday's clashes continued for five hours, the senior military official said, adding that militants came from mountain hideouts and planted remote-controlled bombs to block reinforcements.
"Harbiar is responsible for these attacks. He has been guiding his militants from Europe to target security forces.
"We want to make it clear that the FC cannot be deterred by these attacks. The militants will be given a befitting reply," he added.
On January 26, a similar attack on a Pakistani checkpost killed six soldiers in Dera Bugti, 400 km southeast of Quetta.
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