At least one soldier was martyred as the army troops deployed at security duties near the Turbat airport came under attack on Thursday.

The attack happened in the Turbat district in Balochistan province, an ISPR statement said. Security forces have launched a search operation in the region to trace and arrest the attackers, it added. The slain soldier was identified as Aqeel Abbas.

No group immediately claimed responsibility but previous such attacks have been blamed on small separatist groups that have been carrying out a long-running insurgency demanding independence from the central government in Islamabad, reported Associated Press. The Pakistani Taliban and the Islamic State group also have a presence in Balochistan.

Although Pakistan’s military says it has quelled insurgency, isolated attacks have continued.

On June 11, four Frontier Corps (FC) soldiers were martyred in an attack on Marget Mines, 45 kilometres outside of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan.

At least four FC soldiers were martyred and eight others injured in two attacks in Balochistan, said ISPR on June 1.

According to the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), militants targetted an FC post near Pir Ismail Ziarat in Quetta. During the exchange of fire, four soldiers lost their lives, while “4-5” militants were killed as well. Six FC troops were injured, whereas at least 7-8 militants were wounded.

In the second incident, the alleged terrorists targeted an FC vehicle with an improvised explosive device at Turbat, leaving two FC soldiers injured.

The ISPR said that “such cowardly acts by inimical elements backed by anti-state forces and HIAs cannot sabotage the hard-earned peace and prosperity in Balochistan”.

In May, three soldiers of the Frontier Corps embraced martyrdom while five others received injuries in two separate attacks in Quetta and Turbat districts of Balochistan, said the military’s media wing on Sunday night.

In another attack in Sherbandi, Turbat, the militants targeted soldiers patrolling along the Pakistan-Iran border. Four FC soldiers got injured as a result of the firing.


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