At least three security personnel were killed when militants ambushed their vehicle in Quetta, the capital of southwestern Balochistan province, on Saturday, police and local media reported.
The incident, latest in a series of attacks on security forces in the mineral-rich province in recent months, took place soon after Eid prayers on a busy city street, local broadcaster ARY News reported.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack. However outlawed sectarian militant groups like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and Baloch separatists have been involved in similar attacks on security forces in Quetta in recent years.
The large Balochistan province, which is also considered to cover parts of neighboring Iran and Afghanistan, is strategically important because of the rich presence of copper, zinc and natural gas.
The province has been beset by violence for over six decades, with separatists claiming it was forcibly incorporated into Pakistan upon the end of the British rule in 1947.
Balochistan, with its 600-kilometer (373-mile) long coastline that makes up 42 percent of Pakistan, is a key route to $54 billion mega project, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which aims to connect China’s strategically important northwestern Xinxiang province to Gawadar port through a network of roads, railways and pipelines to transport cargo, oil and gas.
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