Gunmen kill two policemen in attack in Balochistan

QUETTA: Gunmen attacked a paramilitary post in the Mastung district of Balochistan on Tuesday, triggering a shootout that killed two Levies officers, police said, the latest sign of increasing violence in the country.

Barkat Baloch, the assistant commissioner of Mastung, said a search was underway for the assailants who fled after the attack.

He said the bodies of the deceased, identified as Manzoor Ahmed and Muhammad Aslam, had been moved to a hospital.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the shooting, but previous such attacks have been blamed on Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) militants who operate mainly from Afghanistan and Iran, and have a presence in the province.

Baloch further said a search operation has been launched in the area to apprehend the perpetrators of the attack.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed his condemnation of the attack and paid his respects to the security forces for their unwavering dedication to defending the nation.

He also offered his condolences for those who have been lost, vowing that the sacrifices made by the security forces would not be forgotten, according to the state news agency APP.

Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo also expressed his shock and grief over the event, pointing out that the recent spike in terrorism is a cause for concern, as those behind it wish to disrupt the peace of the province.

He declared that all resources would be put forth in order to apprehend the perpetrators. Furthermore, he called upon the authorities to be more vigilant and to unite in keeping anti-national elements at bay.

Bizenjo said that law enforcement agencies should not hesitate in carrying out their duties, in order to prevent any malicious plots.

Balochistan has witnessed a low-level insurgency by small groups demanding independence from the central government in Islamabad. Although authorities say they have quelled the insurgency, violence persists in the province.

— With AP


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