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10 Pakistani Soldiers Killed In Attack Claimed By Separatists

The Pakistani military says 10 of its soldiers were killed earlier this week in an attack claimed by separatists in the restive southern province of Balochistan.

Militants attacked a security post in the Kech district, triggering a firefight that killed 10 soldiers and an assailant, the army said in a statement on January 27.

The attack happened overnight from January 25 into January 26, it said, adding that one attacker was killed as the troops returned fire.

The military said security forces later arrested three insurgents and that a search for those who launched the assault was still under way.

In a statement, a purported spokesman for the Balochistan Liberation Front said the separatist group was behind the attack. The spokesman said one of the militants was killed in the clash and that the military death toll stood at 17.

Resource-rich Balochistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran, has been plagued by sectarian violence, attacks by Islamist militants, and a separatist insurgency that has led to thousands of casualties since 2004.

The latest violence came days after a newly formed separatist group based in Balochistan -- the Baloch Nationalist Army (BNA) -- claimed responsibility for a January 20 explosion that killed three people in Pakistan's second-largest city, Lahore.

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