QUETTA - Security forces in a shootout on Monday killed mastermind of the Civil Hospital Quetta attack along with his four associates in Haramzai area of district Pishin.

Addressing a press conference here at CM’s Secretariat, Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfraz Bugti said police personnel, operating on a tip-off, raided a compound in Haramzai area of district Pishin and killed Jahangir Badini, the mastermind of Quetta terror attack along with four accomplices.

Flanked by Home Secretary Muhammad Akbar Harifal, Inspector General of Police Ahsan Mehboob, DIG Special Branch Manzoor Sarwar Chaudhry and SSP Investigation Itizaz Ghora, Home Minister Balochistan Mir Sarfraz Bugti said Badini was the main architect of Quetta hospital attack in which the lawyers were targeted.

“The suicide bomber of August 8 Civil Hospital Quetta attack has been identified as Ahmed Ali,” said the home minister.

“Bilal Kasi was shot dead by Jahangir Badini early on August 8. He, after killing Kasi, sent a suicide bomber to Civil Hospital Quetta to target lawyers who were present there to protest and mourn the death of their leader,” said Balochistan Home Minister.

To trace the culprits behind the hospital attack was a tough task for the security forces and intelligence agencies, said Bugti.

“We are in conflict zone,” minatained Sarfraz and added, “RAW and NDS are patronising terrorists finically and training them for carrying out militancy in our country.”

The neutralized terrorists were involved in nine gory terrorist activities including Civil Hospital Quetta attack, claimed Bugti. He said two cops also sustained injuries in the shoot-out among whom one was in critical condition.

Jahangir Badini, had links with banned groups Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al-Alami, Bugti claimed, adding Badini was behind the target killing of University of Balochistan’s Law College Principal Barrister Amanullah Achakzai and President Balochistan Bar Association Bilal Anwar Kasi. He said the militant was also involved in target killings of Zahireens, Sardar Chakar Khan Domki, four women at Kirani Road Quetta and attack on Balochistan Constabulary in 2014.

Bugti added that operation against wanted terrorists was conducted late on Sunday night which continued till dawn and finally the forces killed all terrorists on the compound.

To a query, Balochistan home minister strongly rejected presence of Islamic State in Balochistan. He said IS militants who were killed in Noshki by the security forces had just crossed into the province.

He said Balochistan bordered with two neighbouring countries with whom the border management was not so strong which resulted in entry of the IS militants into the province.

Lauding the successful operation by the forces, the home minister said that timely action had thwarted the nefarious designs of the terrorists and saved the province from another terror attack.

A huge cache of weapons including 30-40 kg explosive material, three suicide jackets, four rifles, improvised explosive devices, suicide jackets preparing stuff, hand grenades and other arms were recovered from the compound, he concluded.

Security forces also arrested 10 Baloch separatists after a gunfight in Khuzdar district, the home minister said.