This August 9, 2016 photo shows Pakistani soldiers patrolling a street a day after an attack in Quetta, capital of Baluchistan province. (AFP)
At least six people, including a senior local official, have been killed in an attack by unidentified gunmen on a convoy in southwestern Pakistan
Officials said Thursday that the attackers ambushed the convoy of Naeem Gichki, a senior local administration official, travelling in troubled Baluchistan province.
Provincial home secretary Akbar Harifall said the seven gunmen were hiding in an abandoned checkpost of the tribal police when they launched the attack.
He said Gichki and five local tribal policemen were killed and three others injured when the assailants fired rockets at the two vehicles.
Other officials also confirmed the casualties, although there was no immediate report about who was behind the attack.
Baluchistan, a territory rich in oil and gas which borders Iran and Afghanistan, has been plagued by regular militant attacks. The province is rife with separatist, extremist and sectarian violence and has been the scene of numerous terrorist attacks over the past years. Hundreds of Shia Muslims from the Hazara community have been killed in militant attacks there.
At least 70 people were killed and over 110 others injured in a massive bomb blast earlier this month targeting a hospital in the provincial capital of Quetta. Two separate attacks in June across Baluchistan also saw eight police officers killed.
Sensitivities about the security of the region have increased since China began to construct an ambitious project in Baluchistan, called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, to link the western Chinese province of Xinjiang to the Arabian Sea via Pakistan.