January 11, 2006

Two die, four hurt in land mine blast in Pakistan

QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) - Two Pakistani soldiers were
killed and four wounded on Wednesday in a land mine blast in a
troubled southwestern region where militants are fighting for
autonomy, an official said.

The land mine was planted on a road in the small town of
Pir Koh in Baluchistan province. It exploded when the troops'
vehicle ran over it, said Abdul Samad Lasi, the senior
administration official in the region. Two soldiers died on the
spot and four were wounded, two seriously.

Baluch militants have been waging a low-level insurgency
for decades for greater benefits and control of gas and other
natural resources.

The military launched a crackdown after a December 14
rocket attack on a paramilitary base when President Pervez
Musharraf was visiting a nearby town.

Baluch nationalists say almost 200 people have died in the
crackdown, although some political analysts say that toll
appears exaggerated. The government has not commented on