Islamabad: Pakistan Army on Thursday said it has dismantled Islamic State’s infrastructure in the troubled Balochistan province and killed 12 hardcore terrorists, including two suicide bombers, in an operation last week.
The security forces conducted an operation in Mastung area of the province from June 1 to 3 on actionable intelligence, said an army statement, releasing details of the three-day long operation.
“The successful operation by security forces in Mastung denied establishment of any direct or indirect ISIS organized infrastructure in Balochistan (province of) Pakistan, also foiled terrorist incidents in Pakistan,” it said.
It said that there were reports of 10-15 terrorists of banned outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangivi Al-Aalmi (LeJA) hiding in caves near Isplingi mountains, 36 kms south east of Mastung.
“The said organisation was reportedly making efforts for communication with ISIS (Daesh) and intended to facilitate establishment of ISIS foothold in Balochistan,” it said.
Operation for physical clearance of target area, spread over 10 kilometres, started early morning on June 1 and it continued for three days as terrorists hiding in caves offered stiff resistance.
The army said 250 meter long gorge with steep heights and multiple caves made the clearance operation difficult and challenging but the intelligence and security forces personnel fought valiantly to clear the hideout by June 3.
“During exchange of fire, 12 hardcore terrorists including 2 suicide bombers were killed,” it said, adding that five security forces personnel including 2 officers were also injured in the operation.
The suicide bomber used against Deputy Chairman of the Senate Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri on May 12 was also sent by this group from the same hideout.
During the operation, security forces destroyed a bomb making facility inside cave and recovered cache of arms and ammunition which included 50 kilograms of explosive, 3 suicide jackets, 18 grenades, 6 rocket launchers, 4 light machine guns, 18 small machine guns, 4 sniper rifles, 38 communication sets and huge ammunition of various types.
Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa appreciated effort of Southern Command, intelligence agencies and the troops for the successful operation.