Security forces raided a compound in the country’s troubled southwest and killed four militants linked to an attack on a police academy earlier in the week, officials said Friday.
The raid in Quetta, the capital of strife-riven Balochistan province, was carried out late Thursday following an intelligence tip-off about the presence of fighters from the militant group.
"A team of anti-terrorist force (ATF) raided the compound and killed four militants after an exchange of gunfire," a senior local police official Abdullah Afridi told source.
Speaking off the record, a police official said the militants belonged to the militant outfit - a faction of which claimed it had worked with the IS group to carry out the Monday night raid that killed 61 people, the deadliest assault on a security installation in Pakistan’s history.
IS had previously also claimed the raid and released photos of the fighters involved, one of whom bore a strong resemblance to a attacker who was killed by security forces in the assault.
The extent of any material support to local groups from IS remains unclear, but affiliation with the notoriously brutal outfit brings the promise of a far higher profile.
The Balochistan government has also formed a joint investigation team (JIT) comprising officials from the army, police and intelligence agencies to probe Monday’s attack.
Pakistan has been battling terrorist groups since shortly after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, though overall levels of violence have dropped following a series of militatry offensives in the country’s western tribal regions.