Islamabad, Feb 10 (EFE).- A bomb blast in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province killed two army officers on Friday, the military said.
The blast using an improvised explosive device (IED) took place during a counter-insurgency operation in the Bareli area of the southwestern Pakistani province.
A military statement said the army launched the operation to “deny terrorists any liberty of action.”
“During the ensuing sanitization of the area, an IED exploded close to the leading party,” the statement said.
Major Jawad and Captain Sagheer were killed as they “laid their lives in defense of the motherland against an externally perpetrated threat.”
According to the statement, the operation continued in the area to apprehend perpetrators.
“Security forces are determined to neutralize their nefarious designs even at the cost of blood and lives,” it added.
Mujeeb Baloch, a police officer in Kohlu, said three soldiers were also injured in the blast.
The bombing is the latest in a series of attacks in the volatile Balochistan province, which has battled decades of insurgency against what rebels allege is the unfair exploitation of resources in the mineral-rich region.
The region borders Afghanistan to the north and Iran to the west and has a long coastline on the Arabian Sea. It is home to Pakistan’s largest natural gas field.
The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) usually claims attacks on security forces and is among the most prominent separatist groups in the region.
At least five soldiers were killed in a blast from an improvised explosive device during a clearance operation in Balochistan province’s Kahan area in December.
After the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan in August 2021, Pakistan is witnessing a surge in insurgency violence.
The Islamist Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the BLA have mostly claimed such attacks.
The TTP is an umbrella group of several armed organizations formed in 2007 to establish an Islamic state in Pakistan.
Since its inception, the group has carried out a brutal campaign of attacks across the country and killed thousands of people, including an assassination attempt in 2012 on Nobel peace-winning activist Malala Yousafzai.
Pakistani security forces have begun small-scale operations mainly in the troubled Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) provinces.
Pakistani military Wednesday claimed that it killed 12 alleged Taliban militants in an overnight operation in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
According to Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies, January remained one of the deadliest months since July 2018, in which 134 people lost their lives in at least 44 militant attacks across the country. EFE