Islamist militants kill four soldiers at Pakistani army base – army
Suspected Islamist militants armed with guns, hand grenades and rockets attacked a military base in southern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing at least four soldiers, the army and security officials said.
QUETTA, Pakistan, July 12 (Reuters) – Suspected Islamist militants armed with guns, hand grenades and rockets attacked a military base in southern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing at least four soldiers, the army and security officials said.
Another five soldiers were critically wounded, the army said in a statement. At least three militants were killed in retaliatory fire, and an operation was underway to apprehend two other attackers, it said.
Several militants stormed the military base in Northern Balochistan’s Zhob district in the early hours, the army said.
Three security officials said the militants fought a gun battle for several hours after hurling hand grenades inside a military mess.
“Initial attempt of terrorists to sneak into the facility was checked by soldiers on duty,” the army said, and added that “in ensuing heavy exchange of fire, the terrorists have been contained into a small area at the boundary.”
A newly founded Islamist group called Tehreek-e-Jihad Pakistan (TJP) claimed responsibility, saying in a statement it would release the pictures and videos of their fighters who took part in the attack.
The mineral rich southern province that borders Afghanistan and Iran has faced a decades old ethnic separatist insurgency.
Islamist militants, who aim to overthrow the government and install their own brand of strict Islamic law in the predominantly Muslim nation of 220 million, have also been active in the province.
They have stepped up attacks since revoking a ceasefire agreement with the government in late 2022, including the boimbing of a mosque in the northwestern city of Peshawar that killed more than 100 people in January.
Islamabad says militants have rebased their operations to Afghanistan, whichKabul denies.
(Reporting by Gul Yousafzai in Quetta and Jibran Ahmad in Peshawar; Additional Reporting by Saud Mehsud in Dera Ismail Khan; Writing by Asif Shahzad; Editing by Christina Fincher and Peter Graff)