QUETTA - A Balochistan minister said Thursday paramilitary forces killed at least 30 rebels as part of a fresh operation to quell a long-running insurgency in the province.
The operation was carried out in Dera Bugti area, some 250 kilometres southeast of Quetta. The death toll could not be independently confirmed.
“The forces surrounded the militants early morning on Thursday. It culminated with the killing of 30 militants and arrest of three others,” Mir Sarfraz Bugti , Balochistan Home Minister, told AFP.
He added that one paramilitary was also killed and five wounded during the action . He said eight militant hideouts were destroyed.
“We have recovered 350 kilograms of explosive material and 300 kilograms of landmines,” he said.
Bugti said the militants were members of the Baloch Republican Army (BRA) and two main commanders were also killed in the operation.
“Two of the BRA commanders were also killed during the action . The forces also freed two local Bugti men kidnapped for ransom by the militants ,” he added. Bugti said a search operation was launched Thursday morning, during which an FC convoy was attacked. One FC soldier was killed, while eight others were injured. These rebels had previously attacked the Rangers in Sindh, killing two of their men. Talking to newsmen, the home minister, however, said eight militant camps were successfully abolished during the operation.
Bugti said the search operation was carried out in response to militant attacks against vital national installations and security forces.
He said the provincial government would not bow down before the miscreants and would continue its operations for improvement of the law and order situation in the province.
“The government of Balochistan has a very clear policy that whoever challenges the writ of the government, kills innocent people or attacks security forces, it would take strict action against them,” he said, adding Thursday’s operation was the part of this policy. He further said details of the operation and names of militants would be presented before the media later.
Two gas pipelines of 16-inch diameter from main junction were blown up with explosives by unidentified miscreants in Pirkoh area here on Thursday.
According to security sources, some unidentified miscreants planted explosive device under main pipelines supplying gas from wells number 13 and 30 of main junction to Pirkoh plant.
The device went off with a big bang, destroying the two pipelines.
After explosion gas supply to Pirkoh plant was suspended causing reduction in production of gas in the plant.