By Our Staff Reporter
Islamabad: Terrorists ambushed a convoy of oil and gas workers escorted by paramilitary forces in Pakistan’s restive southwestern province of Baluchistan, killing 14 people, including 7 soldiers.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the Pakistan Army, reported that the terrorists had also suffered significant fire-fighting casualties and that seven Frontier Corps (FC) soldiers and seven private security guards had been martyred in the attack.
“The terrorists attacked a convoy from the mountains near Ormara on the Balochistan-Hub-Karachi coastal highway and a heavy exchange of fire took place. The convoy was returning from Gwadar to Karachi,” said a senior police officer in Gwadar.
He said it was a planned attack and the militants had prior information about the convoy going to Karachi.
“They were waiting for the convoy. Despite the FC and security guards losing their lives, the other FC personnel managed to safely get the convoy away from the spot near Oramara,’ the official said.
Gwadar port is the focal point of the USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) development projects and a number of officials of the state-owned institutions and foreigners work at the port city under heavy security cover.
The ISPR, without giving the exact numbers, said a ‘large’ number of terrorists had attacked the convoy.
“Security forces responded effectively, ensured security of the OGDCL persons, and managed their safe exit from the area,” it said in a statement, adding that “substantial losses were also incurred to the terrorists” during the exchange of fire.
According to the ISPR, the security forces have cordoned off the entire area and a search was underway for the militants involved in the attack.
No banned separatist or terrorist outfit or organization claimed responsibility for the attack.
Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the attack and called for a briefing on the incident, Radio Pakistan said.
The Prime Minister expressed his sorrow with the families at the death of the personnel of the security services.
Separatist and terror squads operating in the rest of the province of Baluchistan routinely carry out attacks on security facilities and security personnel.
On Wednesday, at least 10 people-seven workers and three children-were wounded when suspected militants lobbed hand grenades at workers working on a bridge under construction in the Samungli area of Quetta, the capital.