QUETTA: Following the killing of four suspected militants, including a woman, in an operation in the Dasht area of Mastung district on Wednesday, armed men targeted a Counter-Terrorism Department official and his uncle on the outskirts of Quetta in an attack apparently in retaliation for the Dasht operation.
Official sources said that earlier in the day CTD and Frontier Corps personnel had launched an operation in the Dasht area, some 30km off here, on information about the presence of terrorists involved in the killing of police personnel and attacks on security forces.
Security forces cordoned off the area and launched a search operation. Armed militants hiding in a compound started firing at security personnel, who returned fire. When security personnel reached the gate of the compound, a suicide bomber close to an armoured personnel carrier (APC) blew himself up. But security officials riding the APC escaped unhurt and continued to fire, killing two militants including a woman.
CTD official, uncle attacked in Quetta after the operation
“Four terrorists were killed in the gun battle which continued for at least five hours,” said Abdul Razzaq Cheema, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Quetta Range, while speaking at a press conference along with Information Minister Khurram Shahzad, CTD’s Deputy Inspector General Aitzaz Ahmed Goraya and Ghaza Band Scouts Commandant Colonel Rab Nawaz.
Mr Cheema said that in the gun battle, an important commander of a banned outfit Fazal-i-Haq was killed. He was brought by security forces for identifying the hideout of the militants. He had been arrested by the CTD in Quetta a few months ago.
The DIG said the suicide bomber and other terrorists were hiding inside the compound. Six security personnel were injured in the exchange of fire. Two passers-by were wounded in the cross-fire.
He said a child working in a nearby brick kiln was killed due to the impact of the suicide blast.
Mr Cheema said the terrorists killed in the operation, including their commander, were involved in 11 incidents of targeted killings in Quetta which left a large number of security personnel dead.
Later in the day, CTD Sub-Inspector Abdul Samad was wounded while his uncle Wazir Mohammad was killed when armed men on a motorcycle opened fire on their car in the Nawan Killi area on the outskirts of Quetta. “We are investigating the incident. It could be the retaliation of the Dasht operation,” a senior police official said.
Published in Dawn, June 21st, 2018