— APP File Photo

QUETTA: Several armed men and a Frontier Corps soldier were killed in clashes during a search operation in various areas of Mashkay subdivision of Awaran district on Tuesday.

Official sources said the FC had launched the operation in Jebri, Mahi and mountainous area of Mashkay after the killing of its two soldiers in a recent attack in Mashkay.

According to a spokesman of the FC, troops cordoned off the area and launched the operation on the orders of the provincial government after the banned Baloch Liberation Front had killed two FC personnel.

He said an FC convoy was going from Khuzdar to Mashkay when it was attacked.

During the search operation, he said, FC troops raided various hideouts and killed a number of terrorists.

“An FC contingent raided various hideouts in Mashkay and adjoining areas, killed many BLF men, destroyed their two camps and recovered a huge quantity of arms and ammunition,” officials said, adding that the FC personnel also collected some evidence from the hideouts.

A soldier of the FC was killed and five others injured in a clash. “Many armed men of BLF have been killed in the gun battle in Mahi and Jebri areas of Mashkay,” they claimed.

The FC did not say how many BLF men had been killed, but sources claimed that over a dozen terrorists died and many others were injured in a heavy exchange of fire.

The sources said that around a dozen suspected BLF men had been arrested.

They also said that the gun battle was continuing in the Mahi area.

FC officials said that BLF’s terrorists and criminal groups were involved in target killings, bomb blasts, kidnappings for ransom and other heinous crimes. “These elements are harassing the area and are involved in terrorist activities in Balochistan” he said, adding that the criminals would be brought to justice.