Karachi: At least three militants, including chief of an outlawed radical group Mahmood Rind, were killed and two security personnel injured during a targeted operation in Pakistan's restive southwestern Balochistan province.
The militants were killed late last night in Quetta's Eastern Bypass area by security forces.
"The operation was launched against militants of Jaish-ul-Islam on a intelligence report in the said area late night," a source said, adding that two security men were also injured in the operation.
Rind, chief of radical group Jaish-ul-Islam, was involved in a number of sectarian killings and bomb explosions in Quetta, he said.
Heavy exchange of fire and blasts were also heard during the operation, according to local media reports.
Jaish-ul-Islam was an unknown radical group until it claimed responsibility for the killing of at least 20 Shia pilgrims and injuring 25 others when they attacked three Iran-bound buses in Mastung province in December 2013 with a bomb laden vehicle.
The pilgrims mostly belonged to different parts of Punjab province.
The group has also been known to be involved in the conflict in Syria fighting with the rebels with ties to al Qaeda.
The bodies of the militants were shifted to civil hospital Quetta for postmortem.
Rind was involved in a number of sectarian killings and bomb explosions in Quetta, the source said.
The security forces had also picked up and detained around 40 suspected militants from other parts of the city since last night, he said.
The late night operation was carried out after a surge in violence in Quetta in last two days when militants targeted members of Hazara Shia muslim community and also carried out a bomb explosion at the Bacha Khan chowk on Sunday in which one person was killed and 19 injured.