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Three Soldiers Killed in IED Attack

by AFP

File Photo. Asif Hassan—AFP

Explosive device targeted Army convoy in Balochistan.

An improvised explosive device hit an Army convoy on Thursday in Balochistan province, killing three soldiers and wounding two others, the military said.

A captain was among the three killed by the IED in Awaran district, the military said in a statement. Mineral-rich Balochistan has been plagued for decades by an separatist insurgency and sectarian killings.

The security situation has deteriorated in Pakistan this week, with a bomb attack on a Sufi shrine on Thursday killing 35 people while a suicide bombing on Monday rocked the Punjab provincial capital Lahore, killing at least 13 people and wounding dozens more.

On Wednesday, four suicide bombers struck northwestern Pakistan in one day, killing six people. Also on Monday two members of a bomb disposal unit were killed in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, when a device they were defusing went off. It was unclear if the Quetta bomb was related to the other attacks.

The spate of attacks has unnerved citizens whose growing sense of security has been shaken.

Pakistan has seen a dramatic improvement in security since its deadliest-ever extremist attack—a Pakistani Taliban assault on a school in Peshawar in 2014 which left more than 150 people dead, mostly children, and prompted a government and military crackdown.

The Army intensified a long-awaited operation in the semi-autonomous tribal areas, where militants had previously operated with impunity, and the government launched a vaunted National Action Plan against extremism.

Emboldened Pakistanis are once again attending public gatherings and a sense of optimism is palpable after more than a decade of militant attacks. But critics have repeatedly warned that the crackdown does not address the root causes of extremism.

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