Officials: Pakistani forces kill 4 insurgents in southwest

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani security forces shot and killed four insurgents on Tuesday during a raid on their hideout in the country’s volatile southwest, authorities said.

According to a statement by the Counter-Terrorism Department, the raid took place in the Kharan district, 350 kilometers (210 miles) west of Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province. The department said the slain men were members of the outlawed Baluchistan Liberation Army, designated a “terrorist” group by the United States in 2019.

It provided no further details and there was no comment from the insurgent group. Baluchistan has long been the scene of a low-level insurgency by the Baluchistan Liberation Army and other small separatist groups demanding independence from the central government in Islamabad.

Although Pakistan claims it has quelled the insurgency, violence in the province has persisted.

In February, insurgents from the Baluchistan Liberation Army attacked two military facilities in the province, killing nine soldiers. Pakistani troops subsequently killed 20 assailants in hours-long firefights and follow-up operations. Since then, police have arrested or killed dozens of members of the group in multiple raids in Baluchistan.

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