QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — Gunmen ambushed a vehicle transporting security forces killing a sailor and wounding two others in the coastal town of Jewni in southwest Pakistan, officials said Sunday.
The Pakistan Navy vehicle came under attack Saturday evening while traveling from Jewni to the Ganz area, said Zahoor Buledi, a Baluchistan provincial minister.
The insurgent group Baluchistan Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the attack.
Two intelligence officials confirmed the minister’s account, saying unidentified attackers opened fire with automatic weapons on the vehicle, which was also carrying Quick Response Force troops.
The attack came a day after five laborers were killed and five others, including two security personnel, were wounded when a roadside bomb went off between the towns of Sibi and Harnai in the same province.
Intelligence officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity under policy, said a sailor was fatally shot while a barber and another sailor were critically wounded during an exchange of fire with the attackers.
Baluchistan Liberation Army spokesman, Azad Baluch, in a message to reporters, said the group killed four Navy officers and wounded two others.
Buledi, the provincial minister, condemned the attack saying the insurgents were trying to demoralize security forces operating against them.
Officials said soon after the incident, security forces rushed to the scene and surrounded the area to try and locate the attackers.
Local administrator Athar Abbas said the body of the sailor and the wounded were shifted to the town hospital and there they were moved to Karachi.
Baluchistan has been the locale of a long-running insurgency by Baluch separatist groups who want independence for the mineral and gas rich province that borders Iran and Afghanistan.
Also Sunday, Pakistan’s military said it killed four Islamic militants in two different operations — in the Datakhel area of North Waziristan and the Zoida area of South Waziristan. The two tribal regions along the Afghan border have long served as a safe haven for local and foreign Islamic militants.
Among the slain militants were known suspects Adam Zeb, Maulvi Mahboob, and Mir Salam, all accused of planning and executing attacks against military forces, civilians and government installations, the military added in a statement.
Associated Press writer Asim Tanveer contributed to this story from Multan, Pakistan.