QUETTA - In a prompt operation executed with precision in Gogdan area, the Frontier Corps (FC) personnel killed at least 13 members of Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) who shot dead 20 construction workers in Balochistan’s Turbat district, officials said Monday.

Among those killed in the operation include Baloch Liberation Front’s (BLF) commander Hayat whereas commander Zarif was captured alive.

According to details, acting on a tip-off, Frontier Corps (FC) personnel and intelligence agencies carried out a raid against alleged militants in Gogdan, an area situated at a distance of 15 kilometres from Turbat. In the ensuing gunbattle, 13 suspected militants were killed and these allegedly include those involved in the latest attack on labourers in the province.

Gunmen had killed 20 labourers at point blank range on Friday evening in Balochistan, after identifying them as migrant workers from elsewhere in the country, an attack claimed by the BLF.

Immediately following the killings, security forces launched a search operation in the barren mountainous area and have so far killed 13 militants, with the fighting ongoing.

“Security forces have killed at least 13 militants who killed the labourers,” a spokesman for Pakistan’s paramilitary forces told AFP.  The spokesman said one BLF commander was among those killed, and another of the group’s leaders was captured alive.

Provincial home secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani confirmed the militant death toll. The group, which claimed Friday’s raid on the labour camp in Turbat district of Balochistan, regularly attacks migrant workers and government installations.

The BLF gained greater international recognition after kidnapping American UNHCR worker John Solecki from Quetta in February 2009. Solecki was later released on ‘humanitarian grounds’.

Friday’s incident occurred around 1,000 kilometres southwest of Quetta.

According to security officials, Levies and police personnel were also called over in wake of the encounter.

FC officials faced armed resistance and retaliated strongly killing 13 suspected terrorists.

Security forces cordoned off the area in order to ensure that no one could escape.

Moreover, a huge cache of arms and ammunition were also seized from the suspects.

Resource-rich Balochistan is the largest of Pakistan’s four provinces, but its roughly seven million inhabitants have long complained they do not receive a fair share of its gas and mineral wealth.

Pakistan accuses neighbouring India of funding and arming the rebels.