KARACHI: A top commander of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, who was believed to be involved in the deadly attack on the Civil Hospital in Quetta in 2016, has been killed, along with three members of the banned militant outfit in Balochistan province, police said on Thursday.
Based on a tip-off, the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) launched an operation in Agbara area of the restive Balochistan province on Tuesday and killed Riaz Thekedar.
"Four of the terrorists were killed in heavy firing, while two of them managed to escape," police said.
A large cache of guns, ammunition and weapons was seized from the spot.
A CTD spokesman said top Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan leader Thekedar, was killed in the encounter.
"Thekadar was involved in several attacks on security forces and the attack on the Civil Hospital in Quetta in 2016," he said.
At least 80 people were killed and nearly 150 people were injured during the suicide bombing and gun fire by militants at the Civil Hospital in Quetta in 2016, when members of the provincial Bar Association were staging a protesting there against the suspicious death of a fellow advocate.
"Thekedar was also involved in target killings, motorcycle bomb attacks in Pishin, bank robberies and kidnapping of the son of Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party leader Sardar Mustafa Tareen," the spokesperson said.
The other three terrorists killed in the operation were Fazal-ur-Rehman, Syed Ramzan and Syed Matiullah.
The TTP was blacklisted by the UN on July 29, 2011 for its association with al-Qaida.
The latest police operation follows last Friday's bomb blast in the province during a pro-Palestine rally in which seven people were killed and 13 others injured.
No outfit had taken responsibility for the attack.
However, Baloch nationalists and Taliban insurgents are active in the area and often carry out such attacks.
Last month, a bomb exploded in the parking lot of the Serena Hotel in Quetta, killing at least five people and wounding 12 others.
The Chinese ambassador to Pakistan was staying at the hotel at the time of the attack, but was away on a visit.