Bomb Kills Five Soldiers in Western Pakistan

QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) -

Five Pakistani soldiers were killed on Monday when a bomb exploded next to their vehicle in Baluchistan province, officials said, the latest attack in a region that will be home to the planned route of the $46 billion China-Pakistan economic corridor.

The bomb, planted in a coal-mining district 50 km (30 miles) east of the provincial capital, Quetta, was detonated remotely as members of the Frontier Corps patrolled the area, said Khan Wasey, a spokesman for the paramilitary force.

At least two members of the Frontier Corps, the main state security force in restive Baluchistan, were wounded in the attack, Wasey said.

No one has claimed responsibility.

Rich in resources and vast, Baluchistan is at the heart of the multi-billion-dollar energy and infrastructure projects China and Pakistan hope to build along a corridor stretching from the Arabian sea to China’s Xinjiang region. The planned route will run through the Quetta.

But the region is also home to several separatist groups that have waged war against the state for years, as well as the Pakistani Taliban, raising concerns about security.

Two Pakistani coast guards were killed this month when a bomb exploded under their vehicle in the Gwadar district of Baluchistan, whose port is at one end of the proposed corridor.