Security forces killed 13 terrorists in Balochistan's Panjgur and Naushki areas after successfully repulsing separate attacks last night, the military's media wing said on Thursday.
In a statement, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that after fending off the attacks, "security forces carried out a clearance operation to hunt down terrorists hiding in the area."
In Naushki, the security forces encountered and killed five more terrorists, bring the number of total killings to nine, the ISPR said, adding that four soldiers, including an officer, embraced martyrdom while repulsing the attack.
Meanwhile, in Panjgur, four terrorists have so far been killed while at least four to five are encircled by security forces, the statement said.
The ISPR said the operation in Panjgur to eliminate fleeing terrorists "is continuing".
"As per initial investigation, intelligence agencies have intercepted communications between terrorists and their handlers in Afghanistan and India," the statement added.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday paid tribute to the "brave" security forces for repulsing terrorist attacks in Balochistan the previous night as he acknowledged their "great sacrifices".
Terrorists had attempted to attack security forces' camps in Balochistan's Panjgur and Naushki in two separate attacks late on Wednesday evening, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). The attacks had been "successfully repulsed" while dealing heavy damage to the terrorists, although one soldier was martyred in the Panjgur incident, the military's media wing had reported.
The prime minister today said: "We salute our brave security forces who repulsed terrorist attacks against security forces' camps in Panjgur & Naushki, Balochistan. The nation stands united behind our security forces who continue to give great sacrifices to protect us."
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid provided an update on the number of terrorists killed and the soldiers martyred. In a video message on Twitter, he said nine terrorists were killed and four soldiers martyred in Naushki, whereas six terrorists died in the Panjgur attack.
"The terrorists were repulsed from both places and the Pakistan Army kept its tradition [of defeating terrorism] alive. A few — four to five people — are surrounded by them (the army) in Panjgur which the Pakistan Army will defeat. This is a great success that the Pakistan Army has achieved against terrorism."
The interior minister paid tribute to the security forces and said they were fully capable of fighting against any kind of terrorism.
Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo also praised security forces for thwarting the attacks, saying: "Terrorists cannot intimidate our brave security forces with cowardly attacks. Our security forces are making history."
"Terrorists should remember that their competition is with the best army in the world which will defeat them on all fronts," the chief minister said, adding that their sacrifices were a source of pride for the nation, which stood beside them.
He also extended his condolences and sympathies to the family of the martyred soldier.
Last night's attacks were claimed by the banned Baloch Liberation Army. The incidents are the latest in a string of attacks in Balochistan and come a week after ten soldiers were martyred in a terrorist attack on a security forces' checkpost in the province's Kech district.
According to the ISPR, the "fire raid" by terrorists in Kech had occurred on the night of Jan 25-26.
"During intense exchange of fire, one terrorist was killed and several injured. While repulsing terrorists' fire raid, 10 soldiers embraced martyrdom," the statement had said.
Two days after the attack, three Levies Force personnel along with a Bugti clan elder were martyred and eight others injured in twin bomb blasts in the Sui area of Dera Bugti.
On Jan 30, 17 people, including two policemen, were injured in a grenade attack in Dera Allahyar town of Jaffarabad district.