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Six Pakistani soldiers killed in shootout

A same number of drug traffickers were also killed when they clashed near Afghan border with Pakistan forces.
None | By Press Trust of India, Quetta
PUBLISHED ON JUL 28, 2006 11:10 AM IST

Pakistani troops and drug traffickers clashed near the Afghan border on Friday and five soldiers and six smugglers were killed, an official said.

Another soldier died in a separate roadside bombing.

Maj Mohammed Haroon said the gunbattle took place near Bramcha village in the southwestern Balochistan province when the troops tried to intercept three sport utility vehicles that entered Pakistan from Afghanistan.

The troops had information that the vehicles were carrying drugs and those driving them opened fire after they were ordered to stop for checking, Haroon said.

In the ensuing gunbattle between the smugglers and troops, three soldiers were killed at the scene while two others died at a hospital, Haroon said. Two other soldiers were wounded.

Haroon said that six traffickers were also killed and their bodies were taken by their accomplices, who drove back into southwestern Afghanistan.

The area where the shooting occurred, about 290 kms southwest of Quetta, Balochistan's capital, lies at a route that traffickers use to smuggle narcotics to Iran from Afghanistan.

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