Official: Pakistani forces kill 4 militants in shootout

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani security forces on Thursday shot and killed four members of the Pakistani Taliban in a shootout in the country’s southwest, a spokesman for the counter-terrorism department said.

The fighting took place on the outskirts of Quetta, the provincial capita of Baluchistan, according to the provincial counter-terrorism department. The militants were from the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, as the Pakistani Taliban are known. They are a separate group from the Afghan Taliban.

Acting on intelligence, officers seized explosives and weapons, the department said in a statement. The four, who were involved in multiple attacks in the past on security forces and civilians, were planning an attack on an important installation, it said, without elaborating.

Secessionist groups in Baluchistan have staged a long-running insurgency to push for independence from the central government in Islamabad. The Pakistani Taliban and the Islamic State group also have a presence there.

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