QUETTA - Gunmen killed at least eight tribal police in an attack on a local checkpoint in Khuzdar on Sunday.
The incident occurred on Quetta-Karachi Highway in the Waadh area of Khuzdar district, some 350 kilometres southwest of the provincial capital.
"Gunmen attacked the checkpost early in the morning and shot dead eight tribal police officials, known as Levies," Balochistan Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani told AFP.
He said one other officer was wounded in the attack but survived, adding police will question him over how the fighting occurred and who the gunmen were once his condition stabilises.
A local intelligence official also confirmed the attack and casualties.
So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Officers manning the post returned fire and pushed the gunmen back toward nearby mountains, another government official Baroz Khan said. Reinforcements from the paramilitary Frontier Corps later rushed to the post.
Police personnel and rescue teams immediately reached the site of the incident and shifted the injured to Khuzdar Civil Hospital.
Durrani said the area had been cordoned off as a search operation was underway to arrest the culprits.
Khuzdar is one of the volatile districts in Balochistan where there are a number of pro as well as anti-government militant groups operating.
Balochistan is racked by a separatist insurgency as well as sectarian violence, militants and banditry.
The conflict was revived in 2004, with nationalists seeking to stop what they see as the exploitation of the region's natural resources and alleged rights abuses.
The idea of giving greater autonomy to the province - which is the size of Italy but has just nine million inhabitants - is highly sensitive in a country still scarred by the war with its eastern portion in 1971, which saw that region break away to form an independent Bangladesh.