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Pakistan: Gunmen kill three policemen at Balochistan checkpoint

The incident occurred on the main Saryab Road of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province which is wracked by separatist and Islamist violence. (Representative photo) Photograph: (Zee News Network)

AFP Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan Jun 11, 2017, 11.40 AM (IST)

Unidentified gunmen riding a motorcycle killed three policemen at a checkpoint in southwest Pakistan on Sunday before fleeing the scene, authorities said, in the latest attack to target officials in restive Balochistan.

The incident occurred on the main Saryab Road of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province which is wracked by separatist and Islamist violence, senior police official Abdul Razzaq Cheema told AFP.

Doctor Farid Sumalani, head of the Sandeman Provincial Hospital, confirmed the incident.

Quetta is the capital of Pakistan's mineral-rich Balochistan province which borders Iran and Afghanistan.

Pakistan has been battling Islamist and nationalist insurgencies in the province since 2004, with hundreds of soldiers and militants killed in the fighting.

The shooting came days after the Islamic State group said it had killed two Chinese citizens who were kidnapped last month by armed gunmen in Quetta.

The jihadist group made the claim in a brief Arabic message carried by its Amaq news agency on Thursday, though there was no immediate confirmation from Chinese or Pakistani officials.

Beijing is ramping up investment in its South Asian neighbour as part of a plan unveiled in 2015 that will link its far-western Xinjiang region to Gwadar port in Balochistan with a series of infrastructure, power and transport upgrades.

IS has been making inroads in the country through alliances with local militant outfits such as the sectarian Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Jamaat-ul-Ahrar groups, though its presence is generally downplayed by the government.

(AFP)

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