Pakistani officials say seven paramilitary soldiers have been killed in a large-scale attack on a security checkpoint in southwestern Balochistan Province.
A military spokesman said some 40 militants attacked the checkpoint in the mountainous Mekhtar region in Loralai district early on January 12.
Loralai is located 250 kilometers northeast of Quetta, the provincial capital.
The official didn't say who was behind the attack.
However, the AFP news agency reported that Nirak Baluch, a spokesman for militant group the Baluch Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the attack.
Balochistan, Pakistan's largest but least developed and most sparsely populated province, has been wracked for decades by a separatist insurgency that was revived in 2004.