Four personnel of law enforcement agencies and two civilians have been martyred in an ongoing operation against terrorists in Balochistan’s Mach and Kolpur area, the military’s media wing said on Tuesday.

Security for­ces had thwarted three “coordinated attacks” launched by terrorists using rockets and sophisticated weapons in Mach town on Monday night, some 70 kilometres from the provincial capital, officials said.

While interim Balochistan Information Minister Jan Achakzai had initially attributed the attack to terrorists affiliated with the Aslam Acho group, responsibility was later claimed by the Majeed Brigade of the proscribed Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA).

Security forces immediately responded to the attack and took up positions. The gun battle between terrorists and security forces had continued for several hours.

A press release issued from the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Tuesday night said that on the night between January 29 and 30, “multiple terrorists, including suicide bombers, attacked Mach and Kolpur Complexes in Balochistan, which was effectively responded by law enforcement agencies (LEAs).”

The ISPR said security forces in the vicinity were immediately mobilised and were carrying out an “ensuing operation”.

The ISPR further added that nine terrorists, including three suicide bombers, were “sent to hell till now” while three were injured.

“However, during intense exchange of fire, four brave members of LEAs, having fought gallantly, embraced martyrdom along with two innocent civilians.”

The ISPR said the “effective response” by LEAs was a “testament of their unrelenting resolve in fight against terrorism.

“Pakistan’s security forces stand shoulder to shoulder with other LEAs to ensure peace and stability in the country.”

Final clearance operation in Mach still underway: Achakzai

Earlier today, Achakzai said that seven militants were killed after security for­ces thwarted the three terror attacks in Mach last night.

“After successfully neutralising the RAW-operated attackers, the final clearance operation in Mach is still underway. The situation in the area has been stabilised,” Achakzai said on social media platform X.

He added that the “unwavering determination” of security forces led to the “elimination of seven terrorists, as confirmed by their own handlers who acknowledge the demise of four of their comrades.

“Despite the terrorists’ dependence on kinetic advice and propaganda support from social and electronic media in India, their malicious plans have yielded no fruitful results.

“In a desperate bid to salvage their mission, the RAW handlers advised the terrorists to retreat. Yet, our forces relentlessly pursued them, resulting in their failure to escape.”

Meanwhile, an update from the Trauma and Emergency Centre at Quetta Civil Hospital in Quetta said 13 people were injured and under treatment with two in serious condition.

Earlier, Achakzai said that five militants were “neutralised” by security forces. “Updated missing persons list,” the minister said.

It should be noted that the minister has previously stated that missing persons are “BLA terrorists”.

“We commend the swift action taken by the Pakistan Army and Frontier Constabulary Balochistan in thwarting a terrorist attack in Mach, Balochistan,” he said.

“Five BLA terrorists have been neutralised, ensuring the safety of our citizens,” he said, appreciating the “courage and dedication” of the armed forces.

In a separate post, he also shared a picture of one of the dead militants.

“After the clearance operation in Mach, Balochistan, a dead body of a terrorist recovered. There are many more. So far reports, five terrorists were neutralised,” he said.

CM orders restoration of peace in area

Meanwhile, caretaker Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Ali Mardan Khan Domki condemned the terrorist attack and directed the Home Department to utilise all available resources for restoring peace in the area.

Domki said all security agencies were working in coordination to protect the lives of the people and restore peace in the area.

The chief minister said the security forces were taking careful action to protect the local population.

He said the security forces foiled major terrorist attacks through a prompt and coordinated response, adding that the local administration, Frontier Constabulary and police were taking measures to clear the area.

Interim Balochistan Home Minister Mir Zubair Jamali also strongly condemned the terrorist attack and sought a report of the incident from the concerned authorities.

Jamali said the protection of lives and property of the people was the priority of the government.

He said that all those involved in the incident would be brought to the justice. The minister strictly condemned the attack and prayed for the safety and the security forces and people.

The minister also prayed for the speedy and complete recovery of the injured.

Railway, police stations, central jail targeted

According to the police, at least 15 rockets were fired from nearby mountains, which landed and exploded in different areas of Mach town on Monday night.

After firing rockets, terrorists attacked a camp of the security forces near the central jail and also entered the Mach railway station. There were reports that a railway policeman was martyred in the attack, while a truck driver injured.

However, no casualty was officially confirmed.

Soon after the attack, Mach town was plunged into darkness and traffic on the Quetta-Sibi Highway was suspended.

Last night, Achakzai said no damage was reported to any installations, nor were there any casualties among the security forces.

Achakzai’s remarks came after, according to sources, rockets landed and exploded near a camp of the security forces close to the Central Jail Mach, the prison’s residential area and other places in town.

Balochistan Inspector General Prisons Shuja Kasi had confirmed that rockets hit the walls of the residential colony of the Mach jail.

“Mortar shells and rockets exploded close to the walls of the colony,” he had said, adding that no report of any casualty was received so far.

The jail superintendent had refuted social media reports that the gate and walls of the prison had been damaged. “Mach Jail and prisoners are completely safe and no rocket hit jail walls or premises,” he said.

The officer said that at present 800 prisoners were kept in Mach Jail, which included some death-row prisoners.

Sources said that armed men also attacked a police station in the Gokrt area. However, levies and security forces immediately responded and thwarted it. A truck driver, Abdul Malik Shahwani was brought to the district hospital Dhadar with bullet injuries.


Additional input from APP.

Opinion

Editorial

First steps
Updated 29 May, 2024

First steps

One hopes that this small change will pave the way for bigger things.
Rafah inferno
29 May, 2024

Rafah inferno

THE level of barbarity witnessed in Sunday’s Israeli air strike targeting a refugee camp in Rafah is shocking even...
On a whim
29 May, 2024

On a whim

THE sudden declaration of May 28 as a public holiday to observe Youm-i-Takbeer — the anniversary of Pakistan’s...
Afghan puzzle
Updated 28 May, 2024

Afghan puzzle

Unless these elements are neutralised, it will not be possible to have the upper hand over terrorist groups.
Attacking minorities
28 May, 2024

Attacking minorities

Mobs turn into executioners due to the authorities’ helplessness before these elements.
Persistent scourge
Updated 29 May, 2024

Persistent scourge

THE challenge of polio in Pakistan has reached a new nadir, drawing grave concerns from the Technical Advisory Group...