Pakistan Five soldiers killed in explosion in Balochistan

Pakistan: Five soldiers killed in explosion in Balochistan

At least five Pakistani soldiers were killed when their vehicle exploded during clashes with rebels in the southwestern Balochistan province, the army said on Sunday.

The events unfolded on Saturday in the Kech district of this province, where the army has faced a latent insurgency for decades.

“Terrorists detonated an improvised device against a security forces vehicle” and “intense exchanges of fire broke out,” the army said in a statement.

“Five brave soldiers […] sacrificed their lives,” the army added, saying three rebels also died.

Pakistan, a country of 240 million that is organizing parliamentary elections on February 8, is grappling with security, economic and political crises.

No one claimed responsibility for Saturday's attack, but Balochistan is home to several separatist groups waging an insurgency in the region otherwise rocked by Islamist violence.

Thousands of armed forces personnel are deployed in Balochistan to maintain law and order.