At least three Pakistani soldiers have been killed in an attack by militants on a paramilitary patrol in the province of Balochistan.
The gunmen shot the soldiers in their head while they were patrolling on foot in Sabzal neighborhood in western Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, on Friday, officials said, adding that the armed men managed to flee the scene.
"Two of them died on the spot while the third succumbed to his injuries in hospital," said Khan Wasay, a spokesman for the Frontier Corps.
Abdul Razzaq Cheema, a senior police official in Quetta, also confirmed the soldiers’ deaths.
Wasay, however, said the motive behind the assault was not clear.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack in the restive but mineral-rich province, which has been grappling with separatist, extremist and sectarian violence and has been the scene of several bomb and gun attacks over the past years.
Also on Friday, four people, including a soldier from the Frontier Corps, were injured as they intercepted an assailant on the border with Afghanistan in the northwestern tribal district of Kurram.
Security officials said they thwarted the attacker’s attempt to cross into Pakistan and "to create a big disaster."
On October 7, six people were killed in twin explosions claimed by the separatist Baloch Liberation Army in Balochistan. The attack came three days after gunmen opened fire on a bus transporting Shia Muslims on the outskirts of Quetta, killing four women.