ISLAMABAD, Aug 23, (AFP): A soldier was killed in an exchange of fire with militants who entered Pakistani territory from Afghanistan on Friday, the military said. The incident happened in Muslam Bagh sector in southwestern Baluchistan province near the Afghan border. “About 70 to 80 terrorists intruded from (the) Afghanistan side into Pakistani territory,” the military said in a statement. It added Pakistani troops stopped the intruders but during the exchange of fire a paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) soldier was killed.
Taleban militants from Afghanistan routinely intrude into Pakistani territory near the border in the northwest and attack military check posts and their opponents, souring diplomatic ties between Islamabad and Kabul. Insurgents from Afghanistan stormed the house of a local anti-Taleban militia member earlier this month in northwestern Upper Dir district, killing him and three members of his family. Islamabad has blamed Tehreek-e-Taleban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah for the attacks. Fazlullah is believed to be hiding somewhere in Afghanistan’s Nuristan province. Elsewhere, paramilitary Frontier Corps Friday killed at least 12 separatists in an exchange of fire in Dasht area, 1,150 kms (714 miles) southwest of Quetta, officials said. “The exchange of fire lasting several hours, killed 12 terrorists,” FC spokesman Abdul Wasey told AFP.