Quetta - Security forces foiled a major terrorist attempt at a Frontier Corps (FC) installation in Quetta on Thursday, killing five suicide attackers in the process.

Five suicide bombers – all of them apparently Afghan nationals – tried to enter FC Help Centre Quetta along with an explosives-laden vehicle, said Army mouthpiece Inter-Services Public Reactions in a statement.

It said the vigilant FC soldiers fired at the terrorists and stopped their entry by killing them all. Four FC soldiers also received injuries in the fire fight at the rescue centre, situated in near Chaman Housing Scheme on the outskirts of the provincial capital.

According to media reports, four blasts followed by an intense exchange of fire were heard after the terrorists attacked the FC centre.

Additional contingents had arrived quickly to the scene while the FC men engaged the attackers. A search and clearance operation was also launched in the area to find any possible accomplices of the attackers and any explosive material left there by the militants.

The ISPR said the failed attack was [apparently] made in response to killing of some key terrorists last night in Kili Almas village on the outskirts of Quetta.

A notorious militant and his two companions were killed in an intense gunfight on Wednesday when security forces raided the village after receiving a tip that some terrorists were hiding there.

The killed militants included Salman Badeni, the provincial commander of the sectarian militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ).

Badeni - described by authorities as a “high-value target” - was wanted for his involvement in the killing of more than 100 people, including policemen and members of the Hazara community. The military described the other two militants as suicide bombers .

Colonel Sohail Abid of Military Intelligence was martyred and four other soldiers wounded – two of them critically – in that operation.

One of the two critically wounded soldiers, Head Constable Sanaullah, succumbed to his wounds on Thursday, ISPR DG Major General Asif Ghafoor revealed in a tweet. The martyr left behind a widow and two children.

Asif paid a tribute to the martyrs, saying, “We owe our journey to peace to all our Pakistani martyrs. You are behind peace we live in. Salute to your sacrifices!”

The funeral of Colonel Sohail Abid was held in Rawalpindi on Thursday. Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, a large number of senior civil and military officers and soldiers, and relatives of shaheed attended the funeral prayers. The colonel was buried at Bobari near Bara Kahu with full military honours.

Balochistan has seen years of unrest and sectarian violence, which has dropped considerably owing to unrelenting efforts of police, military and paramilitary forces. But peace has not been restored completely and terrorists keep hitting when and where they find a chance.

Part of the troubles of this sparsely populated south-western province emanate from the grievances of some tribes that inhabit this land. Difficult terrain and inaccessibility of large parts of this province make maintenance of security a tough task.

The situation is made even worse by the presence of a long, porous border with Afghanistan – which make it too easy for the enemy states to train people on the other side of the border and send them across into Balochistan.

Though the terror attacks have happened in almost all areas of this vast province but its capital city Quetta, with a population of a little over one million and smaller than Islamabad in area, has been the chief recipient of suicide-cum-gun attacks.

Also, the terrorists mostly chose two types of targets i.e. religious minorities and the security personnel.