Military says its forces killed 9 insurgents in SW Pakistan

This is a locator map for Pakistan with its capital, Islamabad, and the Kashmir region. (AP Photo)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani security forces shot and killed nine alleged insurgents Saturday during a raid on their hideout in southwestern Baluchistan province, the military said.

A military statement said security forces conducted a raid on members of the separatist Baluchistan Liberation Army in the province's Kohlu district. They had received information that militants involved in a recent attack on security forces in Baluchistan and a bombing in Kohlu Bazaar that killed two civilians and wounded 19 in September were hiding and planning more attacks.

There was no immediate statement from the BLA and an attempt to reach its spokesman was not immediately successful.

The military said that as security forces surrounded them, the militants opened fire starting an hourslong shootout that ended in the deaths of nine insurgents and the arrest of three wounded suspects. A search operation was underway in the area to eliminate any other militant hideout, it said.

The military provided no further details.

Baluchistan has long been the scene of a low-level insurgency by the Baluchistan Liberation Army and other small separatist groups demanding independence from the central government in Islamabad.

Although Pakistan claims it has quelled the insurgency, violence in the province has persisted.