Islamabad: The Pakistan Army said Saturday that it has successfully completed a clean-up operation that was launched to flush out militants who had attacked camps of security forces in the restive province of Balochistan earlier this week.
Militants attacked army camps in Naushki and Panjgur areas on Wednesday, but the troops responded promptly and repulsed them successfully, the army said.
Consequently, nine soldiers and 20 militants were killed in the ensuing clashes, the army’s media affairs wing said in a statement.
Nine militants were killed in Naushki, while four security forces personnel, including an officer, lost their lives during a shoot-out, the statement said.
The security forces also repulsed the terrorist attack in Panjgur after intense exchange of fire, forcing the militants to flee from the area but the forces carried out clearance operation to hunt them down.
It said that four fleeing militants were killed at Panjgur, while four others were encircled the following day by security forces.
“All encircled terrorists were killed in today’s operation as they failed to surrender,” the statement said.
It added that another three militants linked to these attacks were also killed on Friday, including two high value targets, at Balgatar area of Kech in a follow-up clearance operation conducted on a makeshift terrorist hideout. “Our security forces stand firm and resolutely committed to eliminating the menace of terrorism from our soil no matter what the cost,” it said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan took to Twitter on Thursday to congratulate the security forces for foiling the terror attacks on their camps in Balochistan.
“We salute our brave security forces who repulsed terrorist attacks against security forces’ camps in Panjgur and Naushki, Balochistan. The nation stands united behind our security forces who continue to give great sacrifices to protect us,” he tweeted.
The Balochistan Liberation Army had accepted responsibility for the latest attacks.
The separatist outfit has recently stepped-up attacks on security forces and installations.
The attacks on Wednesday were the latest in a string of such assaults in Balochistan and come a week after ten soldiers were killed in a terrorist attack on a security forces’ checkpost in the province’s Kech district.
Three Levies Force personnel and a Bugti tribal leader were killed and eight others injured on January 28 in bomb blasts in the Sui area of Dera Bugti.
On January 30, at least 17 people, including two policemen, were injured in a grenade attack in Dera Allahyar town of Jaffarabad district.
Balochistan is the largest province of Pakistan in terms of landmass. It is also home to the multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.