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QUETTA: At least 16 suspected militants belonging to a banned organisation were killed and several others injured in a clash with security forces in Johan area of Kalat district on Wednesday.

“The militants killed and injured in the operation bel­onged to the banned Baloch Liberation Army (BLA),” a security official said, adding that a search operation was continuing in the area — about 160km from Quetta.

Official sources said that security forces had destroyed two alleged camps of the militants in the area.

“Sixteen armed militants were killed in fighting in the mountainous area of Johan,” Anwarul Haq Kakar, spokesman for the Baloch­istan government, said.

Security officials said that personnel of the Frontier Corps and intelligence agencies launched the search operation in the area and cordoned it off. But the militants opened fire on them. When security personnel returned fire, a heavy gunbattle ensued, leaving 16 militants dead, Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani said. He added that about 20 militants were injured.

Published in Dawn, April 7th, 2016