Pakistani soldier killed in clash with militants in southwest

By Islamuddin Sajid

ISLAMABAD (AA) – A Pakistani paramilitary soldier and two terrorists were killed during a security operation in the country's southwestern province of Balochistan, the military said on Friday.

The incident took place in the Hulmerg area of district Kharan, according to a statement by Inter-Services Public Relations, the military's media wing.

The terrorists were involved in "various acts of violence/terrorism against innocent civilians as well as the security forces." A "significant" quantity of arms, ammunition was also recovered.

Pakistan's army has launched intelligence-based operations in the restive province amid increased attacks in the last few months.

Last December, seven Pakistani soldiers were killed in a terrorist attack on a military check post in Harnai district.

The responsibility for the attacks is often claimed by Baloch separatists, whom Islamabad accuses of being backed by New Delhi.

Balochistan, Pakistan’s largest and poorest province, is at the center of the strategic China Pakistan Economic Corridor, a flagship project of Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative.

It aims to connect China's strategic northwestern Xinxiang province to the Gwadar seaport through a network of roads, railways, and pipelines.