MULTAN, Pakistan (AP) — Counterterrorism police acting on intelligence raided a suspected militant hideout in a remote town in eastern Pakistan early Friday, triggering a shootout that killed five members of a separatist group, a spokesman said.
Kaleem Qureshi, spokesman for the country’s Counter-Terrorism Department, said officers seized a bomb and weapons from the hideout of the slain men in the town of Rajanpur in Punjab province.
He said the raid foiled possible terrorist attacks on gas pipelines and railway tracks by members of the Baluch Republican Army, a small separatist group operating in southwestern Baluchistan province for the past several years. It usually targets security forces and authorities have said it has the support of foreign intelligence agencies.
Baluchistan has for years been the location of a low-level insurgency by small separatist groups and nationalists who complain of discrimination and demand a fairer share of their province’s resources and wealth.