Pakistan says it killed 20 rebels after attacks in Balochistan | News

At least 20 rebels killed after a double attack on army posts in Balochistan, the Pakistani army said, adding nine soldiers also dead.

The Pakistani army said it killed at least 20 rebels in Balochistan after two army posts were attacked in the southwestern province on Wednesday within hours of each other.

“A total of 20 militants were killed in the Panjgur and Noshki operations, the media arm of the Pakistani army said in a statement on Saturday, adding that at least nine Pakistani soldiers died in the biggest attacks of these last years.

A newly formed Balochistan Nationalist Army (BLA) claimed responsibility for attacks in Panjgur and Noshki districts.

The Noshki assault was put down on Thursday, but the Panjgur attack was not put down until Saturday, the army said.

Security forces completed the demining operation today,” he added.

The BLA also issued a statement on Saturday evening stating that “all objectives have been successfully achieved”.

He said 16 fighters sacrificed themselves in the attacks, a formulation that indicated but did not clearly state that they were dead.

Baloch rebels have been fighting the government for decades, demanding a separate state and claiming that the central government is unfairly exploiting Balochistan’s rich gas and mineral resources.

The latest violence came a week after armed fighters killed 10 soldiers in an attack on a security post in the town of Kech in Balochistan province, which has been the scene of a long-running armed rebellion. dated.

The days of fighting came as Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was on an official visit to China, which has invested significantly in Balochistan, further stoking tensions.

Chinese investments in Balochistan are part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, which has also caused tension in the province.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project linking China’s far-western Xinjiang region to the strategic port of Gwadar in Baluchistan has prompted claims that the vast influx of investment is not benefiting locals.

While the economic corridor provides a lucrative gateway for China to the Indian Ocean, the safety of its workers has long been a concern.

Islamabad and Beijing have forged strong ties in recent years.

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