Major among six security personnel martyred in Balochistan

QUETTA: At least six security personnel including a major were martyred during exchange of fire with terrorists in different areas of Balochistan on Sunday.

An army major and a soldier were martyred during an exchange of fire with terrorists in Kech district of Balochistan, the army’s media wing, the Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.

The incident occurred just hours after four security personnel were martyred in simultaneous attacks on three checkpoints in Sherani district.

The ISPR said that security forces had launched an operation in the Hoshab area of Kech district based on credible intelligence regarding the movement of a terrorist gang. “While establishing blocking positions to hinder escape routes, the security forces faced gunfire from a group of terrorists,” the ISPR said.

“During the intense exchange of fire, Major Saqib Hussain and Naik Baqir Ali embraced martyrdom, while another soldier sustained injuries,” the ISPR said.

The ISPR further said that the security forces remain resolute in their commitment to thwart attempts aimed at undermining the peace, stability, and progress of Balochistan. It said that a combing operation was under way to arrest the perpetrators of the attack.

Simultaneous attacks on checkpoints

Earlier on Sunday, three checkpoints on the Zhob-Dera Ismail Khan Highway in Sherani district came under attack, resulting in the martyrdom of four security personnel, including two officers, while a suspected terrorist was also killed, according to a report in daily Dawn.

The armed assaults were carried out concurrently on the police, Levies, and Frontier Corps check posts located in the close proximity of the Danasar area, according to Zhob Division Commissioner Saeed Ahmed Umrani.

The banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attacks through a statement issued by its spokesman. The armed militants launched grenades and rockets, causing explosions at the police checkpoint and leading to the martyrdom of three personnel. The attackers also targeted the Frontier Corps post, hurling grenades and opening fire with automatic weapons. In response, the FC personnel engaged in an exchange of fire, while the police and Levies forces retaliated.

According to the paper, Sherani Deputy Commissioner Bilal Shabbir confirmed that three police personnel and one FC officer lost their lives during the attacks. The exchange of heavy gunfire continued for over two hours, resulting in the death of one suspected attacker and injuries to two others.

Although the Levies post was also targeted, no casualties were reported.

The body of the suspected attacker was taken to Zhob district hospital, where officials also confirmed to have received four bodies of security personnel and one injured individual. The martyred personnel were identified as Sub-Inspector Bahadur Khan Babar, Sepoys Baz Khan and Mohammad Afzal, and FC Captain Saeed.

Highway blockade

In response to the attacks on the checkpoints, a large number of people from Sherani district, including relatives of the martyred security personnel, gathered in the Danasar area and staged a protest by blocking the Zhob-D.I. Khan Highway. The road remained impassable for two hours as protesters placed barricades, effectively suspending all traffic between Zhob and D.I. Khan. However, the road was reopened after the administration assured the protesters of an ongoing operation to apprehend the attackers.

Balochistan Governor Malik Abdul Wali Khan Kakar, Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo, and Home Minister Ziaullah Langove strongly condemned the attacks and expressed their grief and sorrow over the martyr

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