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Pakistan Army Says 'Terrorists' From Iran Kill Four Soldiers In Second Such Attack In Three Months

By RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal April 01, 2023

Pakistan said four of its soldiers near the border with Iran in the nation's southwestern Balochistan Province were killed by a "group of terrorists" coming from Iranian territory, the second such attack in under three months.

In an April 1 statement, the Pakistani military said it had informed Iran of the attack with the hope to "prevent such incidents in future."

Pakistan's Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah condemned the attack, saying in a tweet that "the nation is united in the war against terrorism" and that "this scourge will be eradicated."

No group immediately announced responsibility for the April 1 attack.

In January, four Pakistani security soldiers were killed during a similar militant raid on a border post from across the Pakistan-Iran border in Balochistan, home to ethnic Baluchis.

The outlawed Balochistan Liberation Army, or BLA, routinely takes credit for attacks on Pakistani security forces. Officials in Islamabad say the group has set up sanctuaries in border areas of Iran, charges Tehran rejects.

The BLA claims to be fighting for the independence of Balochistan, a sparsely populated province rich in natural resources such as copper, gold, and oil. The insurgent group claims ethnic Baluchis face extortion and discrimination by Pakistani authorities. Islamabad rejects the charges. Ethnic Baluchis account for just under 4 percent of Pakistan's population of 231 million.

The BLA was responsible for a significant portion of terror-related deaths in Pakistan last year. The Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace called the BLA "the fastest-growing terrorist group in the world."

Pakistan, the United States, and Britain have designated the BLA as a terrorist organization.

Pakistan is working on fencing its 830-kilometer border with Iran in part to prevent cross-border movement of BLA members.

With reporting by VOA

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/pakistan-iran-soldiers- killed-border/32345099.html

Copyright (c) 2023. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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