A lieutenant colonel of the Pakistan Army was abducted and martyred while two terrorists were killed during an exchange of fire near Mangi Dam in Balochistan's Ziarat district, the Inter-Services Public Relations said in a statement on Thursday.

According to ISPR, a group of terrorists had abducted Lt Col Laiq Baig Mirza and his cousin Umer Javed near Warchoom, Ziarat, as they were returning after a paying a visit to the Quaid's residency.

"After receiving the information, Army Quick Reaction Forces were immediately despatched to chase fleeing terrorists who were traced moving to their hideouts in general area Mangi Dam," the military's media wing said.

A search operation was launched by security forces using SSG troops and helicopters to locate the abductees and the terrorists.

"Resultantly, on the night between July 13 and July 14, a group of six to eight terrorists was spotted moving in a nullah in nearby mountains by one of the teams of security forces. On sensing their possible encirclement, terrorists shot Lt. Col. Mirza and attempted to flee," the statement added.

An exchange of fire ensued, resulting the killing of two terrorists. The forces also recovered a cache of improvised explosive devices and ammunition.

However, in the process, remaining terrorists along with other abductee Umer managed to flee from the scene, according to the statement.

The ISPR said the forces were determined to recover the innocent civilian hostage and apprehend perpetrators as sanitisation operation in the area was underway unabated despite bad weather.

"Security Forces remain resolute to thwart such cowardly attempts at sabotaging peace, stability and progress of Balochistan," the military said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed grief at the martyrdom of Lt Col Mirza.

"Our law enforcement agencies will hunt down all those who perpetrated this heinous crime and bring them to justice."

On Wednesday, the ISPR said the security for­ces had killed six terrorists dur­ing an intelligence-based operation in Datta­khel area of North Waziri­stan tribal district.

"One soldier embraced martyrdom in the operation," the army’s media wing had said in a statement.

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