Pakistani security forces have killed nine Islamic State militants during an hours-long operation near the city of Quetta in the southwestern Balochistan Province where repeated militant attacks occurred this month, officials said on May 16.
Four troops were wounded in the operation in a mountainous area called Qabu Koh-e-Mehran in the Mastung district, 47 kilometers from Quetta.
"Nine bodies (of Islamic State militants) have been brought to hospital from Mastung," said Waseem Baig, a spokesman for a Quetta hospital.
The operation was launched following a sudden surge in militant attacks across Pakistan during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Five police officers were killed in the latest attack, on May 13 in Quetta, which was claimed by Islamic State.
Various militant groups as well as separatists fighting the central government are active in mineral-rich Balochistan, where attacks on gas and transport infrastructure and security posts occur frequently.