2 soldiers killed in fighting with militants in SW Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD — An attack by militants in Pakistan’s volatile southwestern Baluchistan province left two soldiers dead and six wounded, the military said Sunday.

The military said in a statement that one of the wounded soldiers was an officer who was hurt during a heavy exchange of fire with fleeing attackers after their attack was repulsed. The militants were then chased into mountains in Khost province, it said.

Intelligence officials said six soldiers and two civilians were wounded in the attack. They spoke on condition of anonymity for not being authorized to speak to media

The army did not identify the attackers and no group immediately claimed responsibility for the assault. However, Baluch insurgents operating in the region have carried out similar attacks on security forces in recent months and have also targeted coal miners.

For nearly two decades, Baluchistan has been the scene of a low-level insurgency by the Baluchistan Liberation Army and other separatist groups demanding independence from the central government in Islamabad. The government says it has quelled the insurgency, but violence in the province has persisted.

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