A terrorist was killed and three soldiers were martyred when security forces retaliated to an attack on one of their posts in the Zarghoon area of Balochistan on Saturday, the military’s media affairs wing said.
According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the early-morning attack by a group of terrorists was launched at a post that was established recently to “help check extortion efforts targeting coal mines in the area”.
Security forces “retaliated readily to the fire raid”, pushing back terrorists, the ISPR said, adding that three soldiers embraced martyrdom and “one terrorist was sent to hell” in the heavy exchange of fire.
“Based on follow-up ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) effort, the likely hideout of fleeing terrorists has been identified in nearby mountains and a deliberate blocking and sanitisation operation has been launched,” the ISPR statement read.
It added that the operation was progressing well and security forces were maintaining pressure to deny terrorists escape from the area.
“Security forces, in step with the nation, remain determined to thwart attempts at sabotaging peace, stability and progress of Balochistan,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the attack and paid tributes to the martyred soldiers.
The attack comes amid a surge in terrorist activities across the country, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, since the outlawed militant group Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan ended its ceasefire with the government in November.
Earlier this month, six Pakistan Army soldiers were martyred during an exchange of fire with militants in the Dir Duni area of KP’s North Waziristan district.
In his maiden press briefing last month, ISPR Director General Maj Gen Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry said that at least 293 people were martyred and 521 were injured in 436 terrorist incidents over the past year.
In KP, 192 people were martyred in 219 terror activities, while 80 people lost lives in 206 incidents in Balochistan, 14 people in five attacks in Punjab, and seven in six terrorism incidents across Sindh.
He had said that the army and law enforcement agencies carried out 8,269 intelligence-based operations during the previous year in which 1,378 suspected terrorists were apprehended and 157 were killed.
The DG ISPR had also said that overall 137 security personnel were martyred and 117 injured in anti-terror operations in the ongoing year.