QUETTA -- Militant attacks in Balochistan against paramilitary troops on Tuesday (May 19) killed at least seven security personnel and wounded four others, say officials.
The militants "attacked a paramilitary troops vehicle via an improvised explosive device (IED) at the Pir Ghaib area of Bolan. Six personnel including a junior commissioned officer were killed while four others seriously wounded," according to a statement from Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR).
"A remote-control bomb was planted on a corner of Mach road, and the targeted personnel were returning to base camp after routine patrolling," the ISPR added.
Separately, militants ambushed security personnel in the Mand area of Turbat District, killing one security officer before fleeing.
"Rising attacks on security forces are part of a heinous conspiracy against our integrity and sovereignty," Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal said in a statement May 19.
"Militants have our enemies' patronage, which is widely visible in neighbouring countries' media and their military officers' statements," he said.
"We will not allow Balochistan to fall prey to the enemy's conspiracies. The war against hostile elements and their patrons will continue, and the sacrifices of the security forces for the defense and peace of the country will not be in vain," he said.
Kamal expressed his condolences to the families of the personnel killed, adding, "The whole nation shares the grief of hundreds of victims' families."
Balochistan's Home Ministry has directed law enforcement agencies to enhance counter-terrorism operations in all restive areas of the province.
"In a high-level law-and-order meeting chaired by [Chief Minister Kamal] on May 19, in Quetta, the overall security situation was reviewed after the recent wave of terrorist attacks," said the statement from Kamal.
The security personnel stationed in sensitive areas in the province have gone on high alert and additional troops are carrying out patrols on national highways, it added.
"Anti-state elements have started a new wave of terrorism in Balochistan, and these attacks could be a reaction to recent counter-terrorism operations in the province, which caused a big blow to the militant groups," said Mir Khuda Bux Marri, vice chairman of Overseas Pakistani Baloch Unity. The organisation, which has chapters in Pakistan and abroad, seeks to combat Baloch separatism.
"I think such cowardly acts are an attempt to sabotage the overall peace in the province. Via these attacks, the anti-peace elements want to pressure the state," he said, adding that "the so-called separatist movement in the province has once again turned into a genocide campaign against our people".
"Militant groups are trying to reorganise themselves and most of the attacks over the past few days have been carried out by the banned Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA)," he said.
"The group's attacks have also been stepped up because the US government has listed the group as a terrorist organisation," he added, referring to the US State Department's designation of the BLA as a global terrorist group last July.