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Paramilitary soldiers enter the cordoned site after gunmen shot dead four paramilitary soldiers in Quetta, Pakistan February 14, 2018. REUTERS/Naseer Ahmed

(reuters_tickers)

By Gul Yousafzai

Quetta, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistani Taliban militants shot dead four paramilitary soldiers in Pakistan's western city of Quetta, where last month seven security men were killed in a suicide attack, police and the Islamist group said.

The Frontier Corps troopers were patrolling the residential neighbourhood of Langoabad on motorcycles when they were fired on by gunmen also riding bikes, said Naseebullah Khan, Senior Superintendent of Police for Quetta.

"The four men were shot in the head," Khan told Reuters, adding that handguns were used in the attack.

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack.

Quetta is the capital of Baluchistan province, rich in resources and at the heart of $58 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) stretching from the Arabian Sea to China's Xinjiang region.

The province, the poorest and least developed in Pakistan, has suffered nearly a decade of separatist violence against the government.

The area also is plagued by attacks from Islamist movements like the Pakistani Taliban, who are separate from but loosely allied with the Taliban movement that ruled neighbouring Afghanistan in the 1990s and has fought an insurgency against western and Afghan government forces since 2001.

(Writing by Syed Raza Hassan; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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Reuters