Daesh militants on
the run in Pakistan
after evading police raid


QUETTA: A band of suspected Daesh militants is on the run in Pakistan after escaping a police raid that killed six other members of the group, officials said Monday.
Counterterrorism police said in a statement they had stormed a hideout in the southwestern city of Quetta on Saturday and killed six militants, but “around four to five managed to escape.”
Among the dead was Asghar Sumalani, a junior commander in the regional chapter of Daesh-Khorasan. He had a two-million-rupee ($11,400) bounty on his head.
“Teams are now raiding different areas to arrest those who escaped,” a senior police official speaking on condition of anonymity told AFP.
Pakistani officials have long played down the presence of Daesh in the country.
But the group has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks, including the slaying of 11 miners from the ethnic Hazara minority last year.
Some of the miners were beheaded after being kidnapped from a remote coal mine in the mountainous Machh area, 60 kilometers (37 miles) southeast of Quetta.
Daesh has deep roots in several provinces in eastern Afghanistan along the porous border with Pakistan.
The group carried out a suicide bombing at Kabul airport in August, killing scores including 13 US service members, as the Taliban retook Afghanistan.

A file picture shows security personnel examine the site of a blast near a checkpoint in the southwestern city of Quetta.

At least six suspected terrorists belonging to the militant Islamic State (IS) group were killed during an operation conducted by the counterterrorism department (CTD) in the Eastern Bypass area here on Saturday night.

In a statement issued on Sunday, a CTD spokesman said there was a heavy exchange of fire during the intelligence-based operation conducted on information about the presence in the area of the militants. The CTD also seized arms, ammunition and explosive material from a house being used by the members of the banned outfit as their hideout.

A “huge terrorism plan” of IS had been averted in Quetta, the spokesman said. The operation was conducted by Balochistan’s CTD in Quetta district in the jurisdiction of Manzoor Shaheed police station, he added.

The CTD said it acted on information provided by a source that an IS member named, Asghar Samalani, having head money of Rs2 million in the department’s Red Book, was present along with other militants in the general area of QDA graveyard on Quetta’s Eastern Bypass. “They were moving to attack a sensitive installation in Quetta. On receiving the information, a CTD team reached the place and intercepted the terrorists,” the spokesman said.

The militants were asked to surrender by the CTD personnel, but they started firing indiscriminately and lobbed grenades. A shootout ensued in which six IS men, including Sumalani, were killed while four to five others managed to escape taking the benefit of darkness.

Efforts were being made to identify the remaining IS members, the spokesman said. An FIR has also been lodged at a CTD police station in Quetta.

Things recovered by the CTD included an improvised explosive device, three submachine guns with 200 rounds, two 9mm pistols with 47 rounds, a hand grenade and two motorcycles.