Police kill four pro-Taliban militants in southwestern Pakistan
Iran Press TV
Tue Jul 30, 2013 3:50PM
Pakistani police forces have killed at least four pro-Taliban militants during a security clean-up operation in the volatile southwestern city of Quetta.
The militants were killed in a massive pre-dawn operation in Bakra Peri area of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan Province, the daily Dawn newspaper reported.
Law enforcement agencies say the militants retaliated by firing rockets at the security forces and strongly resisted the operation. At least two security personnel were seriously injured during the exchange of fire and were later transferred to a nearby hospital.
Security forces have also recovered rocket launchers, bombs, hand grenades and other arms and ammunition from the militants' hideouts in the troubled region.
Sources say the militants were involved in a series of sectarian-linked terrorism incidents including bomb blasts and target killings. They were also senior members of a death squad of a pro-Taliban and an anti-Shia terrorist group known as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). The group has carried out several terrorist attacks across Pakistan over the past few years.
Taliban leaders, who were toppled in the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan, took refuge in tribal regions of Pakistan and rapidly began to extend their influence from tribes to major towns and cities.
The pro-Taliban anti-Shia groups have launched a violent campaign against the Shia Muslims, and are stretching the campaign toward the restive southwestern Pakistan as well.
Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's restive southwestern Balochistan province has witnessed several instances of violence directed against the Hazara Shia community in recent months.
Several Shia religious gatherings have also been targeted in central province of Punjab and southern province of Sindh over the past months.
Shia Muslims in Pakistan say the government must take decisive action against the forces involved in the targeted killings. They also accuse Islamabad of failing to provide security for the Muslim community.
The country’s Shia leaders have called on the government to form a judicial commission to investigate the bloodshed.
Shias make up about one third of Pakistan’s population of over 180 million.
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