Balochistan health minister Rehmat Saleh Baloch and his aides survived a rocket attack on his convoy in Panjgur, Balochistan province, on Thursday, July 6. The militants escaped the area when security personnel returned fire. Authorities have not yet determined the motive or source of Thursday’s attack. The area has been secured by Pakistani forces.
Balochistan province, located in north-central Pakistan, has been plagued by violence in recent months and years, due in large part to its placement along a prominent arms smuggling route. Car bombs, suicide bombings, and armed attacks are common and often target local security forces as well as lawyers. In 2016 alone, more than 100 deaths in the Quetta region were linked to terrorism.
The Quetta region of Balochistan is part of the Chinese “Silk Road” economic corridor project that connects China’s Xinjiang region to the Arabian Sea. Beijing has invested USD 57 billion in road, rail, and power infrastructure in Pakistan as part of the project. Militants in Balochistan have carried out a number of attacks targeting construction sites in recent months.
Individuals in Balochistan are advised to remain vigilant at all times and report any suspicious objects or behavior to the relevant authorities.
Due to a high threat from terrorism throughout Pakistan, as well as kidnapping and sectarian violence, some Western governments advise their citizens against nonessential travel to the country. Foreign nationals, and in particular Westerners, may be directly targeted.