QUETTA - A commander and an operative of the banned Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) were killed and two others wounded in a targeted operation carried out by the Frontier Corps in Mastung district, some 50-km southeast of Quetta, on Friday.
An exchange of fire ensued when security personnel surrounded Killi Pirkano area adjacent to Mastung town, sources said, adding that the gun battle that lasted about two-and-a-half hours ended up claiming lives of two Baloch Liberation Army men and arrest of two others, among them one wounded with gunshot wounds. The dead were identified as Rasheed Baloch and Shahjahan. The targeted operation forced all shops and markets in the city to close.
An FC press release said BLA commander Rasheed Shahwani and his associate Shahjahan were killed in the search operation. “The two accused were involved in the murder of Cadet College Mastung’s principal in 2010, two students, Mastung Police Station SHO Inspector Murad, Sports Section Officer Muhammad Idress, IB inspector Babar, Levies constable Akram Rind, Wapda security guard Shahjahan, Naek Zahid and 18 other FC personnel,” it said.
Heavy weapons, including hand grenades, arms and ammunition and literature were also seized from them.
The press statement added that ten suspects were arrested in a raid on Sariab locality of Quetta. In another raid on Pashtunabad area, explosive material was recovered by law enforcers.
The FC inspector general meanwhile lauded the paramilitary soldiers that took part in the targeted operation. He also thanked people for cooperating with the FC.
Nevertheless, the Baloch National Front (BNF) strongly condemned a search operation carried out in a village, and announced a three-day shutterdown strike and five-day protest against it.
The nationalist parties in Balochistan, including the Balochistan National Party-M, National Party and BSO, condemned the search operation, calling it against the tradition of the Balochs.