Pakistani paramedical personnel stand next to the covered bodies of suspect militants who were killed by security forces, at a morgue in Quetta, Pakistan, Aug. 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Arshad Butt)
QUETTA, Pakistan: Pakistan’s counter-terrorism units raided a hideout of the Islamic State group in the restive southwestern Baluchistan province before dawn on Tuesday, setting off a shootout that killed 11 militants, the police said.
The units, acting on intelligence, carried out the raid in the district of Mastung, where ISIS militants had recently killed two police officers. The police said suicide belts, hand grenades and assault rifles were confiscated in the raid.
The counter-terrorism department provided no further details and the nationality of the slain militants was not immediately known. The counter-terrorism police is a special branch of the police that fights militant groups.
Quetta is the capital of Baluchistan province where ISIS group has claimed several attacks in recent years. ISIS has regional affiliates in both Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan.
Baluchistan is also the scene of a low-level insurgency by Baluch separatist groups, which have also targeted non-Baluch laborers. However, unlike ISIS, they have no history of attacks on the minority Shiite community.