14 Pakistani paramilitary soldiers were killed and 15 were injured in an ambush near Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province on Thursday. The ambush occurred in Wakai area near Nawano check-post, about 50 kilometres from Turbat, close to border with Iran. Later, a prolonged clash erupted between the Baloch rebels and FC officials. Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) has taken responsibility of the attacks.
Up to 16 paramilitary soldiers were killed and 10 injured in November after clashes with rebels in Balochistan. Reports at the time suggested Baloch insurgents ambushed the FC troops while they were guarding a private coal mining venture in the Chamalang district. An army spokesperson later clarified that the three-vehicle convoy was attacked on its way to Dukhi.
There has been an escalation of attacks on Pakistani security forces in Balochistan recently, as the tensions over Iran’s nuclear program increases. This week, Iran launched a military maneuver ‘Martyrs of Unity’ near Khvat, 60 km (40 miles) from its border with Afghanistan. Mohammad Pakpour, commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ ground forces stated that “the exercise was aimed at boosting security along the Iranian borders.”
In December, Iran claimed to have brought down US drone RQ-170 that had intruded in to its territory from Afghanistan. US is increasingly using covert operations and stealth technologies against extremists and adversaries in South and Central Asia and Middle East.