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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Pakistan: Six die in military operation in Baluchistan

Quetta, 15 June (AKI/DAWN) - Pakistani security forces launched an operation in Kohlu district in the restive south-western province of Baluchistan on Wednesday. According to reports from the provincial capital Quetta, the troops attacked what was described as hideouts of armed tribesmen who were involved in attacks on security forces and in planting landmines in different areas of the district. “The forces used helicopter gunships in the action,” Nawabzada Balach Marri, a tribal chief told the Pakistani daily, Dawn on telephone from Kahan in the Kohlu district.

He said that reports of heavy shelling were received from Sour-i-Kor, Bhambhor, Tartani and Gaztal areas of Kahan. He said that four people of the family of one Sabaz Ali, two wives and two children, were killed when a shell fired from a helicopter hit his house in Gaztal area near the district’s border with Dera Bugti.

A member of the Bugti tribe said that security forces had suffered a heavy loss of life in a gunbattle during Tuesday’s operation in Dera Bugti, a district in Baluchistan.

Wadera Alam Khan Bugti claimed that at least 13 Frontier Corps personnel had been killed and many others injured in the fighting. However, official sources denied Wadera Alam Khan’s claims and said that no security personnel had been killed or injured during the operation in Dera Bugti area.

A senior official reiterated the government’s claim that five militants had been killed and seven injured in the operation.
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