10 Pakistani soldiers killed in attack near Iranian border
Pakistan army says 1 terrorist also killed in exchange of fire, 3 others held
At least 10 Pakistani soldiers were killed in an attack on a security check post near the country's southwestern border with Iran, the Pakistan Army said.
In a statement on Thursday, the army said "terrorists" carried out the attack in Kech area of Balochistan province.
"During the exchange of fire, one terrorist was killed and several injured," it said, adding that three terrorists were held in a follow-up clearance operation.
The Balochistan Liberation Front, an outlawed militant group in the province, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Prime Minister Imran Khan paid tribute to the dead, saying: "Our brave soldiers continue to lay down their lives to keep us safe from terrorists. I salute the 10 martyred soldiers who repulsed a terrorist fire raid on checkpost in KechBalochistan. We are resolute in our commitment to rid Pakistan of all forms of terrorism."
Mineral-rich Balochistan is Pakistan's largest and poorest province. It is a key route to the $64 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, part of Beijing's Belt and Road initiative. China is developing the Gwadar port and is involved in other projects in the province.
Turkiye expresses 'deep sorrow'
Meanwhile, Turkiye expressed its "deep sorrow" over the deadly attack as it conveyed "condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the attack, as well as to the people and Government of Pakistan."
A statement by Turkiye's Foreign Ministry on Friday reiterated "once again that we will always stand by Pakistan in its fight against terrorism."