Five militants were killed and 16 security personnel injured during a clash in the restive Quetta city of southwest Pakistan on Thursday, officials said.
The clash broke out when security personnel were conducting a search operation in Kharotabad area of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province.
An officer was among the security personnel who were injured when the militants lobbed grenades and opened fire. Police officials said two militants blew themselves up to avoid capture. Three others were killed by the security forces.
Deputy Inspector General of Police (operations) Fayyaz Sumbal confirmed the death of five militants.
Television news channels reported an explosion killed members of the militants' families, including women and children, though this could not be independently confirmed. Personnel from the Frontier Corps, Anti-Terrorist Force, Balochistan Police and intelligence agencies participated in the search operation that began at 5 am. The security forces declared the area clear after completing their operation.
Sumbal told reporters that law enforcement agencies conducted the search operation after receiving information about the presence of suspected terrorists in Kharotabad. The dead and injured were taken to a nearby hospital and the wounded security personnel were out of danger, he said.
Image: Television news channels reported the explosion killed members of the militants' families, including women and children | Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images