Twenty security personnel were killed in two separate terrorist attacks in north and southwestern Pakistan on Thursday, officials said.
A military convoy was targeted in Razmak town of North Waziristan district, which is now part of the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the military’s public relations wing said. As a result, one officer and five soldiers were killed.
North Waziristan — once a “heartland of militancy” — is one of the seven former semi-autonomous tribal regions in Pakistan where the army has conducted a series of operations since 2014 to eliminate the Pakistani Taliban.
Separately, terrorists opened fire on a security detail escorting a convoy of the state-run Oil and Gas Development Company in Ormara, a town in Gwadar district of southwestern Balochistan, killing seven soldiers and seven private security guards, the military said in a statement.
Security forces, however, “responded effectively,” ensuring the convoy’s safe exit from the area, it added.
Substantial losses were also incurred to the terrorists, and the area has been sealed and a search operation for the assailants launched, the press release said.
Mineral-rich Balochistan is key to the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a flagship project of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative to develop trade routes in Asia and beyond.
Islamabad accuses New Delhi of supporting the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, and Baloch separatists who carry out attacks on Pakistani soil.
In an interview earlier this week, Moeed Yusuf, Pakistan’s national security adviser, said specific evidence is available that links India to attacks, including the one on Chinese consulate in Karachi in 2018.
Source: Anadolu Agency