QUETTA: Four policemen were martyred Tuesday in a gunbattle with militants in Balochistan province, police said, hours after four people died in a bomb blast in the region’s capital.

Militants identified by police as being from the Pakistan Taliban opened fire on a pre-dawn patrol in Kuchlak, officials said, and were still on the run.

“Militants opened fire on a police team from a compound killing four policemen,” senior local police official Muhammad Zohaib told AFP.

“One terrorist was also killed during the exchange of fire, while the remainder escaped.” Counter-terrorism department official Aitzaz Goraya said the militants were from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, which is separate from Afghanistan’s Taliban but shares a similar ideology.

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