A gun and rocket attack targeting a Pakistani paramilitary escort killed seven soldiers and seven private security guards in southwest Pakistan on Thursday, officials said.
The security service was escorting an Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) convoy on a coastal highway to the southern city of Karachi from the port city of Gawadar, located in the turbulent province of Balochistan.
The Pakistani military’s public relations branch said OGDCL personnel managed to safely escape the attack, but 14 security men were killed in the incident.
The area was cordoned off and an operation to search for the attackers was launched, the army said in a statement.
Mineral-rich Balochistan has seen a decades-long insurgency by separatists who want the province to separate from Pakistan over what they call the exploitation of the region’s resources.
An umbrella organization of Baloch terror groups claimed responsibility for the attack in a social media post, but the veracity of the account could not be independently verified by Reuters.
It was the second major attack in Pakistan in 24 hours.
Six soldiers, including an officer, were killed in a separate attack in the former tribal areas in the northwest of the country on Wednesday evening.
Two explosions targeted military patrols along the Afghan border near Razmak, in northern Wazirstan, the army’s public relations section said.
The attack was claimed by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) – an umbrella group of Islamist terrorists fighting against the Pakistani state and its security forces.
The group dispersed and split into factions following operations in 2014 by the Pakistani military in the former tribal areas, which had long been a hotbed for terrorists who attacked targets in Pakistan as well as across the border in Afghanistan.
However, two dissident groups joined the TTP this year and attacks on security forces have seen a marked increase.
At least 49 Pakistani soldiers have been killed in the region since March, according to a Reuters tally of official figures.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)