Militants on Tuesday opened fire on Pakistani security forces, killing three soldiers and wounding eight others in the country’s troubled southwest, the military said.
The incident took place near Gichak Valley in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province which borders Afghanistan and Iran.
“Security forces were on routine patrolling when they came under terrorist fire that killed three soldiers and wounded eight others including an officer,” a senior security official told AFP.
The “condition of five security officials is critical,” a military statement said, adding that injured soldiers had been evacuated to a combined military hospital in the provincial capital Quetta.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but Baluch separatists demanding greater autonomy have been waging an insurgency for years in the region, while the province is also riven by sectarian strife and Islamist violence.
Mineral-rich Balochistan is the largest of Pakistan’s four provinces, but its roughly seven million inhabitants have long complained they do not receive a fair share of its gas and mineral wealth.