Report: ISIL claims deadly attack on Pakistani forces

At least four members of Pakistani security forces killed by gunmen on a motorcycle in restive Balochistan province.

    Pakistani security forces have endured recent attacks by ISIL and other armed groups [File: Akhtar Soomro/Reuters]
    Pakistani security forces have endured recent attacks by ISIL and other armed groups [File: Akhtar Soomro/Reuters]

    ISIL has claimed the killing of four members of Pakistani security forces who were shot dead by gunmen on a motorcycle in the southwestern city of Quetta in the troubled Balochistan region. 

    Sufi pilgrim explains his spiritual journey in Pakistan

    A statement issued on Sunday by the armed group gave no further details about the attack, which took place the day before.

    The ISIL affiliate in Pakistan has grown in recent months by attracting disgruntled Taliban fighters, and by targeting the country's Shia Muslim minority.

    The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group, ISIL, also claimed an attack on a Sufi shrine earlier this month that killed more than 50 people.

    The blast at Shah Noorani shrine occurred while hundreds of people were inside to celebrate the Sufi saint's 500th birth anniversary.

    READ MORE: Why is Balochistan an easy target in Pakistan?

    Balochistan is the scene of a violent separatist movement. But officials recently told Al Jazeera that the area has become a safe haven for fighters fleeing military operations in other regions bordering Afghanistan.

    In the largely remote and neglected region, Pakistani security forces and symbols of the state have come under attack from armed groups, while civilians have lost lives in sectarian violence.

    Balochistan is a strategically important province to Pakistan because of the high concentration of natural resources - including oil, coal, gold, copper and gas reserves, which generates substantial revenue for the federal government - and the only deep-sea port at Gwadar.

    In October, the local armed group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi boasted of a deadly attack on a police station in Quetta. 

    At least 61 people were killed and several were held hostage for hours during the attack on a dormitory inside the police centre.

    Pakistan has carried out military operations against armed groups in tribal areas near Afghanistan and in cities across Pakistan, but fighters are still capable of staging frequent attacks.

    Analysis: Why is Pakistan's Quetta under attack?

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News And Agencies


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