Security forces raided a compound in Quetta and killed four militants linked to an attack on a police academy earlier in the week, officials said Friday.
The raid was carried out late Thursday following an intelligence tip-off about the presence of fighters from the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) 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 AFP.
Speaking off the record, a police official said the militants belonged to the LeJ — a faction of which claimed it had worked with the Daesh group to carry out the Monday night raid that killed 61 people, the deadliest assault on a security installation in Pakistan´s history.
Daesh 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.
Monday night´s raid though served as a grim reminder that militant groups are still able to carry out major assaults from time to time.
The emergence of Daesh in Pakistan is seen as a major blow to the country´s long-running efforts to quell the insurgency, and comes as the group´s key rival Al Qaeda is losing strength in what was once its “home ground”.