Karachi, Pakistan Security forces Saturday killed an anti-government Baluch tribal leader and at least 24 suspected rebel supporters in a blow to a long-running ethnic resistance movement, government and security officials said. At least five security forces also died.
Information Minister Mohammed Ali Durrani said Nawab Akbar Bugti, the most prominent leader in the rebellion by Baluch tribesmen, was killed in an operation in the area of Kohlu in the southwestern provinces of Baluchistan.
A top security official, who declined to be named because of the sensitive nature of the topic, said at least 24 militants were killed. Other sources said as many as 37 militants had died.
Bugti, 79, a former senator and governor of Baluchistan, was an articulate spokesman for the Baluch cause for decades. He turned against the government amid disputes over distribution of revenues for natural gas extracted from tribal territories in the province, Pakistan's largest and poorest.