QUETTA: The counterterrorism dep­art­ment (CTD) said it had killed eight members of the banned TTP and IS outfits in two intelligence-based operations conducted in Balochistan’s Quetta and Washuk districts on Saturday.

A CTD spokesperson said the first operation was conducted in a mountainous area near Kurragi village of Basima tehsil in Washuk, a district bordering Iran.

As soon as counterterrorism officials cordoned off the area and launched the operation, the armed militants opened fire and lobbed hand grenades, prompting the raiding party to take positions and return fire.

“A heavy gun battle continued for an hour, resulting in the killing of five armed terrorists,” the CTD spokesperson said, adding that the killed militants belonged to the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and had previously launched attacks on forces and citizens.

However, three militants managed to escape under cover of darkness.

The bodies of the killed militants were shifted to Washuk’s district hospital, where four of them were identified as Mohammad Yasin, Fahad Ali, Jumma Din and Obaidullah. One body could not be identified.

In the second operation — conducted in the Shalkot area, a locality on the outskirts of Quetta — the militants used automatic weapons, the spokesperson said. The CTD personnel returned fire and killed three militants.

“The terrorists killed in the encounter belonged to Daesh,” the CTD spokesperson claimed, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

The official said the bodies were shifted to the Civil Hospital.

The CTD officials also recovered a kidnapped person from the militants’ hideout. The man, kidnapped a month ago, was kept in a room with his hands and feet tied with an iron chain.

The CTD spokesperson also found arms and ammunition on the site, including submachine guns, hand grenades, 9mm pistols, detonating cords and explosives. A case had been registered and an investigation was in progress, the spokesperson said.

Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2023

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