Baloch separatists in Pakistan claim attack in which 10 soldiers were killed
Separatist rebels in Pakistan have claimed responsibility for an attack on a military post near the port of Gwadar in the southwest of the country, in which 10 soldiers of the army, which confirmed its intention to eliminate “terrorists”, were killed.
The attack, which took place late last Tuesday in the Kish region, north of the port of Gwadar, which is invested by China, was the deadliest attack in years in a separatist rebellion by members of the Baluch ethnicity.
On Friday, a group calling itself the “Balochistan Liberation Front” claimed responsibility for the attack, and said in its statement that 17 soldiers and one of its members were killed.
Yesterday, the army had announced the killing of 10 of its soldiers “after terrorists attacked a checkpoint of the security forces in the Kish region of Baluchistan,” adding in a statement that the “fiery raid” carried out by the “terrorists” took place on the night of 25-26 of this month.
The statement said, “During an intense exchange of fire, a terrorist was killed and several others were wounded. 10 soldiers were martyred while repelling the terrorists’ fire, and 3 terrorists were arrested in the subsequent mopping-up process that is still underway to track down the perpetrators of the incident,” stressing the armed forces’ determination to “eliminate terrorists from our lands, whatever they may be.” the cost”.
For his part, Prime Minister Imran Khan said in a statement today, “We are determined to rid Pakistan of all forms of terrorism.” In the statement, he mourned the 10 soldiers who were killed in the attack.
Baloch rebels have been fighting the government for decades in pursuit of a separate state, claiming that the government is exploiting gas and mineral resources in Balochistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran.
China is contributing to the development of the Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea, near which the latest attack took place, and is also participating in other projects in the region as part of an economic corridor linking it to Pakistan at a cost of $60 billion, which is part of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative.
Earlier this month, an army soldier was killed after militants attacked a military post in Bannu city, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and on January 5, two soldiers were killed and many militants died in two separate intelligence operations in the same province carried out by security forces.
In a report issued by the “Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies”, the country witnessed a 56 percent increase in militant attacks during 2021 after the continuous decrease in attacks during the past six years.
The institute’s statistics showed that the militants “carried out 294 attacks in 2021, during which 395 people were killed, including 186 civilians and 192 members of the security forces. At least 629 people were wounded, including 400 civilians, and 217 members of the security forces,” adding, “The security forces were also killed. 188 militants and arrested at least 222 suspected militants during the year.
Last week, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed admitted the “recent rise in terrorist incidents.” He said that his ministry “alerts the armed forces and civilian law enforcement agencies, asking them to be vigilant, and also asked all armed forces, civilian armed forces, police inspectors general, senior secretaries and border teams to remain alert and alert.”