Roadside bomb in SW Pakistan kills 1 soldier, wounds 5

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — A roadside bomb exploded near a Pakistani paramilitary vehicle in the restive southwestern Baluchistan province, killing one soldier and wounding five others, a local government official said Sunday.

The paramilitary troops were attacked while on patrol near the Sharag coal mines, according to Azeem Jan Damar, a deputy commissioner in Harnai district. He said the wounded were taken to a nearby medical facility.

Baluchistan province has been the scene of a low-level insurgency by separatists demanding more autonomy and a greater share in the region's natural resources, such as gas and oil. The province shares a long border with Afghanistan and Iran.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the blast, but such attacks on security forces in the past have been claimed by Baluch separatist groups.

Islamic militants also operate in the region. Last month, a roadside bomb hit a paramilitary force vehicle in the provincial capital, Quetta. The blast killed two soldiers and wounded 12 others. Hizbul Ahrar, an offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Days later, an explosion ripped through a mosque in Quetta during Friday evening prayers, killing a senior police officer and at least 13 civilians.

Despite these recent bombings, terror attacks in Pakistan overall have plummeted by more than 85% over the last decade.