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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

16 Pakistan soldiers killed in bomb attack, firing

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Jan 12 -- At least 16 Pakistani paramilitary soldiers were killed in a bomb attack and firing in the volatile southwestern Balochistan province, officials said Thursday.

Officials said that gunmen attacked a convoy of security forces late Wednesday with bombs and automatic guns in Turbat district, some 700 kilometers from Quetta, the provincial capital.

Two officers were among those killed, an official said.

They said that 15 more soldiers from the Frontier Corps were injured in the deadly attack.

A nationalist Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) claimed responsibility. A spokesman for BLF, Goram Baloch called local media men and claimed responsibility.

Officials said that two vehicles came under the remote control bomb attack when the convoy was passing through Buleda area of Turbat district. two vehicles of the paramilitary force were destroyed.

Officials said both sides exchanged firing after the attack. There was no report about casualties of the militants. The injured security personnel were shifted to a military hospital in the region. Several injured were registered critical.

More security personnel were sent to the area to join the under attack men to fight the insurgents.

The forces laid a siege to foil the insurgent attempt to flee. There had been no report of any arrest. Security sources later said the insurgents escaped to the nearby mountains in the darkness.

The BLF spokesman had claimed that 40 security men were killed in the attack.

Goram Baloch said that three vehicles were also destroyed in the attack. He added that the militants snatched 17 rifles from the soldiers.

Baloch insurgents routinely attack the security personnel in their bloody campaign in Balochistan province.

**1394
Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30762151



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