Islamabad, Oct 23 (EFE).- At least nine insurgents were killed as Pakistan Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) destroyed a hideout of the separatist militant organization Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) in the southwestern province of Balochistan, according to official sources Saturday.
“An IBO (intelligence-based operation) was conducted” in Mastung district of the restive province, where “the terrorists were asked to surrender,” the CTD statement said.
However, the insurgents “started indiscriminate firing and a shootout ensued” after which “9 terrorists were found dead,” it added.
According to the anti-terror department, the hideout was used as a launching pad of BLA operations across the province, and to provide a safe haven for terrorists from other organizations.
The CTD claimed that the operation helped avoid a “big disaster,” and a large cache of arms and explosives were recovered from the site.
The statement added that an investigation had been launched to arrest remaining members of the network and more raids were planned in other areas of the province.
BLA, like other insurgent groups, accuses federal government of exploiting Balochistan’s rich mineral and gas resources.
The group has claimed responsibility for attacking Pakistani security forces, Chinese nationals and the Chinese consulate in Karachi in the past.
China has been investing billions of dollars in infrastructure projects across the country especially in Balochistan under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. EFE