Three police officials and a Frontier Constabulary (FC) personnel were martyred while a terrorist was killed on Sunday after police and Levies checkposts in the Dhana Sar area of Balochistan’s Sherani subdistrict came under attack.

Sherani Deputy Commissioner (DC) Bilal Shabbir confirmed the fatalities to Dawn.com, adding that the exchange of fire between the security forces and the terrorists continued for almost two hours.

He said another FC personnel was injured, whose condition was out of danger. A terrorist was killed during the exchange of fire, while two others were injured.

DC Shabbir added: “The companions of the injured terrorists succeeded in taking them away. The body of the dead terrorist has been handed over to the CTD (Counter-Terrorism Department).

He further said that the bodies of the martyrs have been taken to Zhob District Headquarters Hospital.

Stating that law enforcement agencies have cordoned off Dhana Sar and the surrounding areas, the DC added that the CTD has collected evidence from the incident’s site and has initiated its probe.

Meanwhile, Sherani District Health Officer Dr Daulat Khan told Dawn.com that a state of emergency has been put in place at the Zhob Civil Hospital and that all hospital staff had been called to duty despite the weekend.

He confirmed that one body has been shifted to the hospital.

Condemnations

Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo condemned the “rocket attack and firing” on the checkposts and expressed his grief on the martyrdom of the four security personnel.

He also lauded the police’s and the FC’s efforts in killing one terrorist. “The terrorists cannot demoralise the security forces by their cowardly actions,” he said in a statement.

“The sacrifices of the security forces are a beacon for the nation. The security forces are ensuring the security of the country and the nation with their firm determination and courage,” Bizenjo added.

He went on to assert that the nation was “standing with its security forces in thwarting the evil intentions of anti-nation elements”. The chief minister also prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured personnel.

In a separate statement, Balochistan Governor Malik Abdul Wali Khan Kakar said all available resources should be used to bring those who were spreading terror in the society and sabotaging peace in the province.

“We have to show national unity and consensus to thwart the evil intentions of terrorists and saboteurs,” he said.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari also strongly condemned the terrorist attack. He said he was equally aggrieved at the deaths of the security personnel as were their families.

“Cowardly terrorists can neither discourage us nor our soldiers with such attacks,” FM Bilawal said, adding that he saluted all the martyrs of the country.

National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf and Deputy Speaker Zahid Akram Durrani also condemned the incident and expressed condolences over the deaths of the security personnel.

They asserted that the “cowardly acts” of terrorists could not weaken the morale of the nation and the security forces.

In a statement issued by the PPP Media Cell, former president Asif Ali Zardari expressed sympathy with the families of the martyred officers.

He demanded that the terrorists should be identified and brought to justice. “The nation will not forgive the killers of its brave sons at any cost,” Zardari added.

Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman also extended condolences to the bereaved families and prayed for the departed souls.

“Terrorists should know that Pakistan will keep defeating them,” she added.

Increase in terror attacks

Pakistan has seen an uptick in terror activities, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, after the outlawed TTP ended its ceasefire with the government in November last year.

A day ago, a police constable was injured in a hand grenade attack at the “smart” police station of Quetta.

On June 24, a police official was martyred and two more were injured in a suicide attack on a police van in Balochistan’s Turbat.

A month ago, two soldiers were martyred when terrorists attacked a security forces’ checkpost in the Singwan area of Balochistan’s Kech district along the Pakistan-Iran border.

In a press conference last week, Inter-Services Public Relations Director General Maj Gen Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry said that the security forces conducted 13,619 intelligence operations this year in which 1,172 terrorists were killed or arrested.

“On a daily basis, over 77 operations are being carried out by armed forces, police, intelligence agencies, and other law enforcement agencies to rid of the menace of terrorism,” he said.

DG Sharif added that 95 soldiers embraced martyrdom in these operations.

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