Pakistan

Terrorists attack security forces, 20 personnel martyred in Ormara

Terrorists attack security forces, escorting OGDCL convoy, on Coastal Highway, IED blast hits troops in Razmak.

Seven soldiers and as many security guards were martyred while fighting off a terrorist attack on a convoy of the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) in Balochistan on Thursday, hours after six army troops were martyred in an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

The attack on the OGDCL convoy took place on the Coastal Highway, near Ormara, the Inter-Services Public Relations said. Earlier, the ISPR said that six troops, including an officer, were martyred in an IED blast in North Waziristan tribal district.

The IED blast hit a convoy of the security forces in the Razmak area of North Waziristan, according to the ISPR. Those who embraced martyrdom included Captain Umar Farooq, 24, Naib Subedar Riaz Ahmed, 37, Naib Subedar Shakeel Azad, 44, Havaldar Younas Khan, 36 Muhammad Nadeem, 37, and Lance Naik Asmatullah, 30.

Hours later, the ISPR said, an encounter took place between security forces and a large number of terrorists on the Coastal Highway, near Ormara, when a convoy of the OGDCL was being escorted from Gwadar to Karachi.

“During the clash, substantial losses were also incurred to the terrorists. As a result of this encounter, seven brave soldiers of the FC Balochistan and seven security guards sacrificed their lives and embraced shahadat,” the media wing of the military said.

The ISPR added that the security forces responded effectively and ensured security of the OGDCL persons and managed their safe exit from the area. It added that security forces had cordoned off the area and search for terrorists was under way.

The martyred security personnel have been identified as Subedar Abid Hussain, resident of Layyah; Naik Muhammad Anwar, resident of Sibi; Lance Naik Iftikhar Ahmed, resident of Dera Ghazi Khan; Sepoy Muhammad Naveed, resident of Chakwal; Lance Naik Abdul Latif, resident of Pishin; Sepoy Muhammad Waris, resident of Mianwali; Sepoy Imran Khan, resident of Lakki Marwat; Havaldar (retd) Samandar Khan, resident of Lakki Marwat; Muhammad Fawadullah, resident of Lakki Marwat; Attaullah, resident of Dera Ismail Khan; Waris Khan, resident of Tank; Abdul Nafay, resident of Kohat; Shakirullah, resident of Kohat; and Abid Hussain, resident of Bannu.

Condemnations

“Such Cowardly acts by inimical elements to sabotage peace, stability and economic development in Balochistan shall never be allowed to succeed. Moreover, these acts cannot subdue resolve of our forces which are determined to defend the motherland, even at the cost of their lives,” the ISPR said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the attack on the convoy of OGDCL and sought report of the incident. He commiserated with families of the security personnel martyred in the attack, lauded the services of the martyrs and prayed for the departed souls.

Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan also condemned the attack on the OGDCL convoy and the FC Balochistan personnel on the Makran Coastal Highway. Kamal expressed grief over the martyrdom of security personnel.

In a statement, the chief minister expressed solidarity with the families of the martyrs and conveyed his heartfelt condolences. He said that the security forces personnel sacrificed their lives in the line of duty, which was an act that would always be remembered.

Commending the security forces for fighting valiantly, Kamal said that the security personnel were laying down their lives to foil the conspiracies of terrorists. “The cowardly acts of the anti-state elements could not diminish the high spirits and morale of the people of the province,” he said.

“Those involved in taking lives of innocent people must be awarded an exemplary punishment,” the chief minister said, adding that the journey of peace and tranquillity and development in Balochistan would continue at any cost.

Kamal deplored that a handful of elements for their vested interest wanted to keep Balochistan undeveloped and weak. However, with the support of the people of Balochistan, the “security forces are determined to take every possible step against the anti-peace elements”, he added.

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