Army denies foothold to ISIS in three-day Mastung operation: ISPR
RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Army in a three-day intelligence based operation (IBO) near Isplingi area of Mastung district have successfully denied the foothold to ISIS in Balochistan after destroying the key hideouts of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al-Almi (LeJA) from where efforts were reportedly being made to facilitate ISIS in the province, ARY News reported on Thursday.
According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR)’s statement issued today, security forces conducted an operation earlier this month on an intelligence tip-off about presence of 10 to 15 terrorists hailing from proscribed outfit LeJA, hiding in mountainous caves at Koh-e-Siah and Koh-i-Maran near Isplingi, 36 kilometres southeast of Mastung city.
“The banned militant outfit was reportedly making efforts for establishing communication with ISIS (Da’ish) and intended to facilitate it in Balochistan”, the statement added.
Divulging details, the statement said that operation for physical clearance of target area – spread over 10 kilometers – started early morning on June 1 by landing of heliborne forces. The terrorists who were hiding in caves offered stiff resistance and 250-meters long gorge with steep heights and multiple caves made the clearance operation difficult. However, the security forces fought valiantly to clear the hideout by June 3.
As many as 12 hardcore terrorists including two suicide bombers were killed in the operation, the Pak-Army’s media wing said. “The suicide bomber used against Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri on May 12 was also sent by this group from the same hideout”, the statement further added.
During the three-day operation five security forces personnel including two officers also sustained injuries.
The security forces recovered huge stockpile of arms and ammunition which included 50 kilogrammes of explosives, three suicide bomber jackets, 18 hand grenades, six rocket launchers, four light machine guns, 18 small machine guns, four sniper rifles, 38 communication sets besides huge ammunition of various types. The security forces also destroyed improvised explosive device (IED) making facility inside the cave.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has appreciated effort of the Southern Command, intelligence agencies and the troops for the successful operation.