Security forces “successfully thwarted three coordinated attacks” carried out by terrorists in Balochistan’s Mach area on Monday night, according to provincial interim information minister Jan Achakzai.
In a post on social media platform X, he said the militants were affiliated with the Aslam Acho group. “Fortunately, no damage was inflicted on any installations, and there were no casualties among our security forces,” he said.
The minister added that the terrorists retreated and were being pursued by security forces. “We remain hopeful that all threats will be eliminated before dawn,” Achakzai added.
He earlier said a report was received about a “few rockets” fired from the hilly areas of Mach. In a post on social media platform X, the minister said there were no reports of any losses and the law enforcement agencies were alert.
Mach Central Jail Superintendent Saleem Tareen said the facility was not damaged due to the attacks and the building, its staff and prisoners were safe.
“The forces around the jail are fully alert,” he said.
Meanwhile, two injured people from Mach were moved to a trauma centre in Quetta, according to the provincial health department.
The department imposed an emergency in the hospitals of Quetta and Mach amid the reported attacks, according to a statement posted on Facebook.
“Instructions have been issued for all doctors and staff to be present on duty immediately. Instructions have been issued to strengthen the security of hospitals to deal with any unpleasant situation. Instructions have been issued to gather medicines, medical equipment, lab supplies, and abundant stock of blood,” the statement said.
Balochistan Health Secretary Abdullah Khan Noorzai said that all nearby ambulances in Quetta were dispatched for Mach.
The responsibility for the attack was claimed by the banned militant Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) group. The BLA is a rebel group operating against the Pakistani state in Balochistan. BLA’s stated aim is complete independence for Balochistan.
The incident comes with the February 8 general elections just 10 days away.
Pakistan has witnessed an uptick in terror activities in the past year, especially in KP and Balochistan after the banned militant Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan ended its ceasefire with the government in November 2022.
According to an annual security report issued by the Centre for Research and Security Studies, Pakistan witnessed 1,524 violence-related fatalities and 1,463 injuries from 789 terror attacks and counter-terror operations in 2023 — marking a record six-year high.
KP and Balochistan were the primary centres of violence, accounting for over 90 per cent of all fatalities and 84pc of attacks, including incidents of terrorism and security forces operations.
On January 18, Pakistan had launched retaliatory strikes against targets within Iranian territory, aiming at facilities linked to purported Pakistani Baloch separatist groups.
According to a statement issued by the military’s media affairs wing, “hideouts used by terrorist organisations namely BLA and Balochistan Liberation Front” were struck in an intelligence-based operation codenamed ‘Marg Bar Sarmachar’.