QUETTA: Fifteen suspected militants were killed in two operations conducted by security forces in Mastung and Harnai districts of Balochistan on Saturday.

A spokesperson for the counterterrorism department (CTD) said in a statement that CTD personnel conducted an intelligence-based operation in the mountainous area of Splinji, Mastung, after receiving information about the presence of some militants in the area.

The CTD personnel, he said, cordoned off the area in the night between Friday and Saturday and started moving closer to a camp. They asked the militants hiding in the camp to come out and surrender, but the militants opened fire on them. The CTD personnel returned fire and the gunfight continued for over an hour, resulting in the killing of nine militants, he added.

Officials say deceased belonged to banned BLA, BLF

The CTD spokesperson said the dead belonged to the banned organisations Balochistan Liberation Army and Balochistan Liberation Front.

During a search of the camp, the CTD personnel seized some weapons, including nine AK-47 rifles, 20kg of explosives and RPG and its shells.

The bodies were shifted to the civil hospital for identification.

The CTD has registered a case.

The other operation was conducted by the Frontier Corps in the Jamboro region of Harnai district after receiving information about the presence of some militants in the area.

According to an FC statement, the FC personnel cordoned off the area early in the morning before a clash broke out with the militants hiding in a house.

The heavy gunbattle left six militants dead, it said.

A statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations confirmed the killing of six militants in the Harnai operation.

It said one of the dead militants was identified as Tariq Alias Nasir, a leader of the banned Baloch Liberation Army (BLA).

FC officials said that a large cache of arms and ammunition was found in the house where the militants were hiding.

Grenade attack

Four labourers were seriously injured in a grenade attack in the Manjothi area of Naseerabad district on Saturday, Ali Jan Mangi in Dera Murad Jamali added.

Police said the labourers were targeted when they were working on an under-construction road in the area.

“Some unidentified motorcyclists hurled a hand-grenade on the labourers in the Manjothi Mongoli area, targeting labourers working on the road. The explosion of the hand-grenade left four labourers injured,” a senior police officer said, adding that the attackers escaped after the incident.

Police and personnel of other law-enforcement agencies rushed to the area after receiving report of the attack and took the injured to the district hospital.

The condition of two labourers was stated to be serious.

Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2021

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