QUETTA: Pakistani forces on Sunday said they had killed around a dozen Islamic State militants in a three-day raid prompted by intelligence reports that the group were holding two recently kidnapped Chinese nationals.
The operation took place in the rugged Mastung district of southwest Balochistan province and targeted the hideout cave of a group of IS commanders, a senior security official told AFP.
“Some 12-13 IS commanders have been killed after intense gun-battles and the area was cleared late Saturday,” he said, but added that the Chinese pair were not recovered from the scene despite the presence of the vehicle used in their kidnapping nearby.
Security forces also seized six suicide jackets, a cache of ammunition, explosives, detonators, solar panels and food rations, a second Pakistani security official told AFP, adding the cave was a base used by IS to plan attacks across the country.
The two Chinese workers were abducted last month in Quetta.
One Chinese woman managed to escape as the men began firing in the air to scare off onlookers.
A passer-by, Muhammad Zahir, was shot as he tried to prevent the abduction. — AFP