Hidayat Ullah was an IS operative

Pakistani security forces on Friday killed the mastermind of the country’s worst ever suicide bombing in an early morning shootout in the southwest province of Balochistan, officials said.

The operation was carried out on an intelligence tip-off about the presence of an Islamic State operative identified as Hidayat Ullah in a house in Darenjo village of Qalat district in the restive province.

“The Frontier Corps (FC) raided the house and killed Hidayat Ullah after strong resistance from him,” Qaisar Khan, a senior administration official in Qalat said.

A senior FC official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Ullah was facilitator of Hafeez Nawaz, who carried out the suicide bombing last week which killed at least 149 people. The IS claimed responsibility for the attack at an election rally in Balochistan’s Mastung district.

“Hidayat Ullah led a group of IS operatives, who are present in different areas of Balochistan, and we hope to track them down pretty soon,” said Qaim Lashari, a senior administration official in Mastung.

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