Quetta - At least seven personnel of Pakistan coastguards were killed and seven others wounded Saturday in an armed attacked by militants in Gwadar. Banned outfit Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) owned the pre-dawn attack, claiming their fighters also picked up two coastguards from the checkpost in Suntsar area, some 100 kilometres from Gwadar.

Balochistan Levies sources said more than a dozen armed men attacked the checkpost with rocket launchers and sophisticated weapons. “As many as seven personnel were killed and seven others sustained critical wounds in the shooting that started early in the morning,” they added. A local tribal police official also confirmed the casualties.

When contacted, Balochistan Home Secretary Captain (r) Akbar Hussain Durrani confirmed the incident and said around 24 insurgents attacked the post. “The attacked checkpost is located close to Iran border and over 14 coastguards personnel were deployed there when the attack came.” He said a search operation had been launched by the coastguards, Frontier Corps and Balochistan Levies. The deceased and injured were immediately shifted to the Navy Hospital Ormara, from where the bodies would be shifted to Karachi. The dead were identified as Lance Naik Kamran Aslam, and Constables Ali Nawaz, Saifur Rehman, Amir Abbas, Rustam Bilal, Shabir Israr and Abdul Qayyum.

Five of the injured were Naib Subedar Athar Khan, Lance Naik Jalil, and Constables Aftab, Lal Muhammad and Ali Raza. Sources said that Lance Naik Shafiur Rehman and Constable Jango Khan were missing and it was feared that they were kidnapped by militants. They said it is a far-flung area with few sources of communications.

BLF spokesman Gohram Baloch, calling from unspecified location to media offices, claimed responsibility for the attack. He also claimed of killing 25 personnel and taking away two personnel. “BLF fighters got control of the checkpost and seized one vehicle and weapons in a large quantity,” he said, adding that two BLF fighters were also injured in the fighting.