Quetta, Pakistan: At least 10 separatist insurgents were killed and 12 others arrested in an operation by paramilitary troops in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Baluchistan, officials said Saturday.
The incident occurred in Sangan area of Kahlu district, some 180 kilometres southeast of the provincial capital Quetta.
“The frontier corps (paramilitary force) had launched an operation against insurgents of the Baloch Liberation Army in Sangan area since Friday and gradually closed on them Saturday evening, killing 10 insurgents and destroying three training camps,” Anwaar Kakar, spokesperson for the provincial government told AFP.
The provincial home minister Sarfaraz Bugti said 12 insurgents were also arrested, adding that a local leader of the separatist Baloch Liberation Army was among the dead.
Baluchistan, Pakistan’s largest but least developed and most sparsely populated province, has been wrecked for decades by a separatist insurgency that was revived in 2004.
The separatists believe that locals do not receive a fair share of the province’s energy and mineral wealth, while rights groups accuse the government of extra judicial detentions and the killing of activists.
The province is also blighted by religious extremists, banditry and sectarian violence.