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Feb 14, 3:49 AM EST

Militants kill 4 paramilitary troops in southwest Pakistan


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QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) -- Militants riding on motorcycles opened fire at a vehicle carrying paramilitary forces in southwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing four troops before fleeing, police said.

Hours later, the Taliban-linked Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al-Almi militant group claimed responsibility for the attack in Quetta's Saryab neighborhood.

The attack happened as the paramilitary forces were driving through a busy bazar, said Abdur Razzaq Cheema, the Quetta police chief. He said a manhunt is underway for the assailants.

The Sunni militant group's spokesman, Ali Bin Sufyan, said in a statement that Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al-Almi will continue targeting security forces.

Quetta is the capital of Baluchistan province, which has been the scene of a low-level insurgency by Baluch separatist groups that demand a greater share of the province's resources. Islamic militant groups also operate there and often target security forces.

Pakistani authorities claim they have quelled the insurgency and broken the backbone of militants but violence has continued.

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