Twenty-four terrorists were killed during firefights and clearance operations in the Mach and Kolpur towns of Balochistan in the past three days, the military’s media affairs wing said on Friday.

On Monday night, security for­ces had thwarted three “coordinated attacks” launched by terrorists using rockets and sophisticated weapons in Mach, some 70 kilometres from the provincial capital. The terrorists also targeted a hotel and six shops in the Kolpur area and set them on fire.

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.

According to a statement issued by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) today, terrorists attacked Mach and Kolpur complexes in Balochistan on the night of January 29 and 30.

“Law enforcement agencies deputed on security offered stiff resistance and forced the attackers to repulse. These terrorists were then hunted down in the ensuing sanitisation and clearance operations which have now been concluded after clearing and securing the area,” the ISPR said.

“During the firefights and sanitisation/clearance operations, in the last three days, 24 terrorists have been sent to hell,” the army’s media wing said.

It identified Shehzad Baloch, Attaullah, Salah Uddin, Abdul Wadood and Zeeshan as “key terrorists” among the dead. The ISPR said the identification process of remaining terrorists was in process.

During the intense exchange of fire, “four brave members of law enforcement agencies, having fought gallantly, embraced martyrdom” along with two innocent civilians, it added.

“Effective response by law enforcement agencies is a testament to their unrelenting resolve in the fight against terrorism,” the ISPR said, adding that Pakistan’s security forces stood “shoulder to shoulder” with other LEAs to ensure peace and stability in the country.

Pakistan has recently witnessed an uptick in terror activities, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

According to an annual security report issued by the Centre for Research and Security Studies, Pakistan witnessed 1,524 violence-related fatalities and 1,463 injuries from 789 terror attacks and counter-terror operations in 2023 — marking a record six-year high.

KP and Balochistan were the primary centres of violence, accounting for over 90 per cent of all fatalities and 84pc of attacks, including incidents of terrorism and security forces operations.

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