Four members of the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi were killed and seven others arrested during an operation conducted by security forces in the restive southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta in the wake of a terror attack that killed nearly 90 people last week.
Balochistan Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani Tuesday said four militants were killed and seven others arrested, after an exchange of fire with Frontier Corps personnel in Killi Qambrani area of Quetta, the provincial capital, late Monday night.
Though Durrani did not name the group, other sources said the security forces clashed with the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which had claimed responsibility for Saturday's bomb attack in a Shia-dominated area of Quetta that killed 89 people and injured about 200.
Durrani said the gun battle erupted when Frontier Corps personnels were conducting raids after getting information about the presence of members of a banned group in Killi Qambrani area.
He said that two Frontier Corps personnel were also injured in the shootout.
He further said the Frontier Corps have launched a search operation to trace those involved in bomb attacks and targeted killings.
Col Maqbool of the Frontier Corps told the media that the men killed and arrested during last night’s operation are from Karachi, Rahim Yar Khan, Quetta and Kohlu region.
"We recovered a suicide jacket, arms and ammunition from the possession of the accused," he said.
Officials said the arrested men are locked up in a police station and a special joint investigation team of law enforcement agencies is interrogating them.
Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf had directed authorities to launch a "targeted operation" against militants in Quetta following the killing of nearly 90 people in a terror attack in the Shia-dominated southwestern Pakistani city.
Shia political parties and students' groups have organised protests across the country to condemn the bomb attack at HazaraTown in Quetta that killed 89 people and injured nearly 200 on February 16.
That attack came a little over a month after twin suicide bombings in Quetta killed 92 Shias on January 10.
Life was affected by protests in several large cities, including Islamabad and Karachi. Several key roads in Karachi, Pakistan's financial capital and largest city, were blocked by protestors and traffic was thin.