Middle East

Militant attack from Afghanistan kills Pakistani soldier

Troops of the Pakistan army stand guard at the entrance of the prime minister house in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

ISLAMABAD: A soldier was killed in an exchange of fire with militants who entered Pakistani territory from Afghanistan Friday, the military said.

The incident happened in Muslam Bagh sector in southwestern Baluchistan province near the Afghan border.

"About 70 to 80 terrorists intruded from (the) Afghanistan side into Pakistani territory," the military said in a statement.

It added Pakistani troops stopped the intruders but during the exchange of fire a paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) soldier was killed.

Taliban militants from Afghanistan routinely intrude into Pakistani territory near the border in the northwest and attack military check posts and their opponents, souring diplomatic ties between Islamabad and Kabul.

Insurgents from Afghanistan stormed the house of a local anti-Taliban militia member earlier this month in northwestern Upper Dir district, killing him and three members of his family.

Islamabad has blamed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah for the attacks. Fazlullah is believed to be hiding somewhere in Afghanistan's Nuristan province.

Elsewhere, paramilitary Frontier Corps Friday killed at least 12 separatists in an exchange of fire in Dasht area, 1,150 kilometres (714 miles) southwest of Quetta, officials said.

"The exchange of fire lasting several hours, killed 12 terrorists," FC spokesman Abdul Wasey told AFP.

Resource-rich Baluchistan is home to a long-running separatist conflict that was revived in 2004, with nationalists seeking to stop what they see as the exploitation of the region's natural resources.





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