QUETTA, July 8: Six armed men, allegedly involved in kidnapping for ransom incidents, were killed in an encounter with the Frontier Corps personnel in Mastung district on Saturday night, officials said.

A Frontier Corps official told Dawn that FC personnel raided hideouts of suspected criminals in Kabo and Sapalanji areas of Mastung district and Pir Ghaib mountainous area of Bolan district.

He said kidnappers, highway robbers and car thieves had been using these areas as their hideouts.

The official said that during the raid in Mastung an exchange of fire took place between armed men and FC personnel in which six alleged criminals were killed, adding that a doctor kidnapped from Mastung on July 3 was freed.

He said some suspects were detained who were being interrogated and a large quantity of arms and ammunitions was seized from the criminals’ camps. The official did not give the number of people rounded up during the gunbattle.

Official sources said armed men had set up camps in mountainous areas of Bolan and Mastung districts and took refuge there after committing crime and kidnapping people in different parts of Balochistan.

“Ringleaders of criminal gangs escaped during the operation. However, the operation has been extended to other areas to trace and arrest them,” the sources said.

They said that law-enforcement agencies personnel continued to comb the mountainous area till the filing of this report on Sunday.

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