Pakistani security officials stand guard at a checkpoint in Balochistan, in Quetta, Pakistan, 30 September 2023. EFE/EPA/FILE/FAYYAZ AHMAD

2 soldiers, 2 militants killed in gunbattle in southwestern Pakistan

Islamabad, Oct 30 (EFE).- At least two soldiers and two militants were killed in a gunbattle between security forces and insurgents in southwestern Pakistan, the army said Monday.

The incident occurred in Khoro area of Awaran District in the restive Balochistan province on Sunday, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the army.

Pakistani troops engaged the militants, and “resultantly two terrorists were sent to hell, while two terrorists got injured, ISPR said in a statement.

However, during the intense gunbattle, two soldiers named Asif Irfan and Irfan Ali were killed after “having fought gallantly.”

The ISPR said that after the gunfight, the security forces sanitized the vicinity for other militants in the area.

“Security Forces are determined to eliminate the menace of terrorism and such sacrifices of our brave soldiers further strengthen our resolve,” said ISPR.

Balochistan province has been facing a two-decade long insurgency, with Baloch nationalists locked horns with Islamabad over alleged unfair exploitation of the province’s natural resources.

Pakistan and China are jointly undertaking infrastructure development and regional connectivity projects in Balochistan.

Chinese nationals and forces providing security to them have also been targeted by the Baloch insurgents, who have demanded China to leave the province.

In September, more than 60 people were killed in a major suicide attack that targeted a religious congregation in Mastung area of the province. EFE