QUETTA / ISLAMABAD: Twelve “hardcore terrorists” were killed in a gun battle with security forces in the Splinji area of Mastung district, the military said on Sunday.

Eight security personnel, including two officers, were injured in the intelligence-based operation (IBO) conducted over the past two days.

The security forces through this operation foiled a major act of terrorism in Balochistan, said Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media affairs wing of the armed forces. Terrorists were hiding inside a cave for planning, coordination and execution of terrorist activities in Balochistan.

The action was part of Operation Raddul Fasaad and the target of the IBO were hideouts of the militants of the banned Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) in the Sken Nullah Darango area, 55km southeast of Kahan.

Unconfirmed reports said that the two Chinese nationals kidnapped from Quetta recently week were rescued. Among those killed were the top and mid-ranking leadership of the militant Islamic State group in Pakistan.

The chief of the IS, Sindh chapter, was captured.

A large cache of weapons, ammunition and explosives including guns, rocket launchers, anti-personnel mines, detonators and communication equipment, were recovered from the terrorist hideouts.

Pakistan Army’s Light Commando Battalion, Special Service Group, Special Operation Wing, FC Balochistan, and Frontier Corps troops took part in the operation.

The area was being used as an operational base of IS and Laskar-e-Jhangvi Al Alami.

Published in Dawn, June 5th, 2017