Pakistan’s counter-terrorism agency have killed 11 alleged Islamic State (IS) group militants in raids carried out in the early hours of Tuesday morning in the restive Baluchistan province of the country, police claimed.
The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) along with local security forces carried out the operation in the Mastung district after receiving the intelligence report of the hideout of suspected IS terrorist.
The counter-terrorism unit surrounded the alleged militants and asked them to surrender before the intense shootout brokeout. The police said they were attacked by hand grenades by the militants and police retaliated with fire to neutralise the threat.
Suicide belts, hand grenades, explosives, two suicide jackets and assault rifles were confiscated from the raid, police said.
Those killed in the operation were reported to be from the Isis-Khorasan Province (Isis-K) group and were wanted for the involvement in the fatal attack on police in May 2020, that killed two policemen, reported The News.
“After the heavy gun battle that ensued, 11 alleged terrorists were found dead in the compound, which they were using as their hideout,” said the spokesman.
However, no further details regarding the operation and the nationality of militants killed was not immediately known.
Baluchistan is Pakistan’s largest province and a strategic region sharing its borders with Afghanistan and Iran. But the region has been under the grips of separatist insurgency as nationalist organisations of the Baloch people — an ethnic minority in Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan — demand an independent state from Pakistan.
Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, has remained a target of IS attacks, including bombings, during recent years, claiming several lives.
In July, at least 13 people, include nine Chinese nationals were killed after a suicide bomber attacked a bus carrying workers. In another attack on 20 August, a bomber carried out a blast at a motorcade of the Gwadar East Bay expressway project, a part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
China on 23 August called for the swift action on the mastermind of attacks on their nationals involved in the project. China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin urged Islamabad to “earnestly protect the safety of Chinese nationals, organisations and projects” in the country and punish the perpetrators of the attack.