A bomb exploded next to an army vehicle in the Baluchistan region of western Pakistan today (18 January), killing five soldiers and injuring two others. The bomb was planted in a coal mining area near the provincial capital Quetta, close to the region where the $46bn (£32bn) China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has been planned.
The device was detonated remotely and the attackers' presumed target was the Frontier Corps soldiers patrolling the area, Khan Wasey, a spokesman for the paramilitary force said. No militant group has taken responsibility for the bomb blast as yet.
Baluchistan is one of the important regions that are part of the multi-billion-dollar energy and infrastructure projects being built between China and Pakistan. The area also happens to be volatile due to a number of separatist groups who thrive here and have been fighting against the government for a larger share of the area's rich natural resources. The al-Qaeda and the Taliban are also active in the region.
The incident occurred four days after a suicide bomber killed close to 15 people including 13 policemen near a polio vaccination centre in Quetta. Earlier, two Pakistani coast guards were killed when a bomb exploded under their vehicle in Gwadar, a district of Baluchistan.