A senior military officer was abducted and killed by terrorists while a tourist accompanying the officer remains missing as the military continues the search operation. In a statement issued by the military’s media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Thursday evening, Lieutenant Colonel Laiq Baig Mirza and his cousin had travelled to Ziarat to visit Quaid-e-Azam’s residency there on July 12. While returning to Quetta between the night of July 12-13, they were intercepted by a group of around a dozen terrorists near Warchoom in Ziarat. ISPR said that once they received information about the abduction, a quick reaction force (QRF) of the army was immediately dispatched to chase the terrorists. The QRF managed to trace the abducted officer and his kidnappers as the latter drove towards their hideouts in the general area of Mangi Dam. Subsequently, a search operation was launched by security forces. The search party included SSG commandos and helicopters. A search and rescue team spotted a group of six to eight terrorists moving through a drain in the nearby mountains on the night of July 13 and 14. The ISPR said that when the terrorists sensed that they could be encircled, they shot Lt Col Mirza and attempted to flee. The military said that an exchange of fire ensued between the terrorists and security forces. “Two terrorists were killed while a cache of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), explosives and ammunition were recovered,” the statement read, adding, that the remaining terrorists managed to flee along with the other abductee for the time being. ISPR said that the military was determined to recover the civilian hostage and apprehend the perpetrators. As a result, sanitization operations by security forces continue in the area despite the bad weather conditions. Security forces remain resolute to thwart such cowardly attempts at sabotaging the peace, stability and progress of Balochistan. Earlier, there were reports that two tourists had been abducted in Ziarat. Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo had taken notice of the incident and had sought a report on the matter. There were reports earlier on Thursday that the body of one of the tourists had been found by security forces.