ISLAMABAD/Quetta - The security forces on Tuesday killed at least four terrorists including two suicide bombers belonging to proscribed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Loralai district of Balochistan.

The intelligence-based operation was part of operation Radd ul Fasad. According to ISPR, the security forces conducted successful intelligence-based operation in Loralai, Balochistan where four terrorists including two suicide bombers and mastermind of recent terrorist activities in Balochistan were killed.

These terrorists, belonging to proscribed TTP were responsible for recent terrorist activities in Balochistan and martyrdom of six Levies personnel on March 20 at Sanjwai, Ziarat, the ISPR said.

The operation was conducted during early hours of the day. “As the security forces cordoned off the area, terrorists opened fire and used grenades to impede security forces movement and tried to flee. During intense exchange of fire, all the four terrorists including two suicide bombers were killed by the security forces,” said the ISPR.

They further said cache of weapons, suicide jackets and heavy explosives, personal belongings including service cards and NICs of Levies personnel killed at Sanjawi were also recovered.

During the operation, four security personnel sustained minor injuries, the ISPR statement said. The injured were taken to Loralai hospital.

Loralai has witnessed a sharp rise in violent attacks by militants in the recent past. A few days ago, six Levies personnel were martyred in a terrorist attack in Sanjawi area of Ziarat district.

According to sources, the six soldiers posted at the check-post in Lal Katai on Sanjawi-Loralai road were attacked by assailants with heavy weapons. The banned TTP had claimed responsibility for the attack and the killing of Levies personnel. It was a sudden attack as the attackers armed with automatic weapons came on motorcycles.

According to the provincial police sources, 119 persons — including 15 police personnel — were killed and 114 injured in terrorism-related incidents in Balochistan during 2018. Twenty-five terrorists were also killed in encounters and 55 arrested in 1,245 intelligence-based operations in the province, according to the Inspector General of Police, Mohsin Butt. In a recent press briefing, he said that 1,245 intelligence-based operations and 1,869 combing operations were conducted under the National Action Plan across Balochistan in 2018 in which 55 terrorists were killed and 4,188 absconders and 5,449 accused were arrested. They belonged to 22 militant groups. He said that another 898 suspects were arrested during the operations.

The IG said that besides seizure of 21,103 weapons, 2,536kgs of narcotics were also recovered. He added that a total of 8,755 incidents of crimes — including 42 sabotage activities, 34 targeted killings and 11 sectarian killings — were reported in 2018 as compared to 9,490 in 2017.

In another incident, unknown gunmen shot dead an official of Balochistan University at Sariab Road area of Quetta on Tuesday.

According to police sources, University of Balochistan (UoB)’s Office Superintendent Syed Hussain Shah was on way to University when armed assailants opened fire at him and fled from the scene.

As a consequence, he died on the spot after receiving gunshot injuries.

Police on receiving information reached the site and shifted the body to Civil Hospital where the body of the deceased was handed over to the heirs after completion of medico-legal formalities.

The reason of killing could not be ascertained so far. Police cordoned off the entire area and started investigation.