QUETTA: The provincial counterterrorism department (CTD) said two “most wanted terrorists” of the militant Islamic State (IS) group were killed after both sides exchanged fire during an intelligence-based operation in the Sorgaz area of Khuzdar district.

The department found a large quantity of arms and ammunition during the operation, a spokesperson for the CTD Balochistan said in a statement on Friday.

On being alerted that militants were present in the mountainous area of Sorgaz, the CTD dispatched a team to the site and intercepted the armed men travelling on motorbikes. They were trying to enter Balochistan from Shahdadkot town of Sindh to target a sensitive installation in Khuzdar, the department said.

As they saw security officials, the suspected terrorists opened fire using heavy weapons and also hurled hand grenades.

The CTD team also took positions and returned fire.

“Two most wanted terrorists were killed in the exchange of fire,” the CTD spokesperson said, adding that three other militants managed to escape under the cover of darkness.

One of the militants killed in the operation was identified as Matiullah alias Bismillah, who carried head money of Rs1 million and his name was placed in the Red Book.

Both militants belonged to the banned IS outfit, the official said. The other militant couldn’t be identified.

The arms and ammunition recovered from the terrorists included a sub-machine gun with 34 rounds, a 9mm pistol with 12 rounds, 5kg explosives, five-metre detonating cord, a remote-controlled device and a motorcycle.

The spokesperson said the search was under way to arrest the remaining members of the network and an FIR had been lodged at the CTD police station in Khuzdar.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2022

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