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Official: Roadside bomb kills 2 soldiers in Pakistan

By Nasir Habib, For CNN
updated 3:11 AM EST, Sun February 19, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Militants in Balochistan have been fighting the government for self-rule
  • Dera Bugti is home to four major gas fields
  • In another attack, six pro-government militia members are killed in a blast

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- A roadside bomb killed two soldiers and injured nine others in southwest Pakistan, one of two deadly incidents in the country targeting law and order personnel Sunday.

The attack took place in Dera Bugti, a district in the Balochistan province, when a paramilitary vehicle on a routine patrol struck the bomb, said Murtaza Baig, a spokesman for the paramilitary forces.

Militants in Balochistan, a province rich in natural gas, have been fighting Pakistani military forces for self-rule. For years, they have complained that the government has paid little attention to them and their economic needs.

Dera Bugti is home to four major gas fields and was once the operational base for rebel leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, who was killed in a military raid in 2006.

Paramilitary forces in the area are responsible for guarding natural gas installations that militants have frequently targeted in recent weeks.

Pakistan has said the militants in Balochistan do not have links to the Islamic hardliners who have launched assaults in other parts of the country.

In one such attack, six members of a pro-government militia were killed in a bomb blast in Khyber Agency, one of seven semiautonomous tribal agencies along the Afghan border.

A remotely detonated bomb killed the militia members as they were taking control of an area that had been a militant stronghold, said Khalid Mumtaz Kundi, a senior government official of the district.

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