QUETTA - The security forces have killed a senior Al-Qaeda commander and detained his wife in an overnight raid on his hideout in Chaghi district, the Balochistan home minister said Sunday.

The security forces also took the couple's two young daughters into custody during the raid in Chaghi.

"An important Al-Qaeda commander - namely Omar Abdul Lateef alias Luqman, a Pakistani national - was killed in an encounter with local security agencies," Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti told reporters at a crowded press conference.

The minister said Umar Lateef, his wife Tayyaba alias Fareeha Baji, one brother and two daughters both aged under five had lived in Chaghi for the last 8-10 months after moving from the Afghan border province of Nimruz.

"Lateef was a senior commander of Al-Qaeda for Pakistan's Balochistan and South Punjab regions," Bugti said. "His brother Bilal succeeded in escaping during the raid, probably to neighbouring Afghanistan."

Bugti said Punjab had offered a reward of two million rupees ($20,000) for Lateef and half a million rupees for his wife, who was head of Al-Qaeda's women's wing in South Punjab and Balochistan. The minister said Lateef had established an Al-Qaeda network and was supervising its "terrorist activities and providing travel and logistical facilities to terrorists in both Balochistan and South Punjab as well as in Afghanistan".

His wife is being interrogated by security officials.

The minister said the Al-Qaeda leader killed in the security operation was planning to establish Al-Qaeda Sub-Continent Centre in Balochistan. “We have foiled a plot of the terrorist,” he said. Sarfraz Bugti said that as part of National Action Plan (NAP), an operation was under way against terrorists and terrorists' organisations in Balochistan. He added that the situation in the province had now improved as a result of the successful actions by the security forces.

Bugti said, "Terrorism would not be tolerated and strict action would be taken against terrorists."

Al-Qaeda announced last September it was setting up a chapter in the sub-continent to counter the spread of the rival Islamic State group, which controls a broad swathe of territory in Iraq and Syria. The military launched a major operation against Taliban and Al-Qaeda-led militants in the northwestern tribal regions in June last year. The operation intensified in December after Taliban militants attacked a school in Peshawar and killed more than 150 people, mostly children.

Mailk Ishaq, the leader of an anti-Shiite group behind some of country’s worst sectarian atrocities, was killed in a shootout with police last week along with 13 other militants, authorities said.