Security forces killed the leader of a banned group blamed for a deadly insurgency in Pakistan's southwestern province of Baluchistan, a spokesman for the group said on Wednesday.
Balach Marri, identified by Pakistani authorities as the leader of the Baluchistan Liberation Army, was killed in a military operation overnight, the group's spokesman Beeberg Baluch told reporters by telephone.
The Pakistani military and police were not immediately available to comment on the claim. A local television channel meanwhile said Marri had been killed in Afghanistan, not Pakistan.
Angry youths chanting slogans against the government torched an official vehicle in Quetta and pelted moving cars with stones after news of the claim emerged, police said.
Similar incidents were also reported in Noshki, a remote town bordering Afghanistan, they said, adding that no casualties had been reported.
Gas-rich Baluchistan has been in the grip of a three-year insurgency launched by ethnic Baluch rebels who want more political rights and a greater share of profits from the region's natural resources.
"Balach Marri was killed by Pakistani security forces in an operation in Kohlu district," Baluch said in a telephone call from an undisclosed location.
"He died along with several other colleagues."
Sources from the Marri tribe, to which the rebel leader belongs, also confirmed his death.
Pakistani forces killed the main leader of Baluchistan's rebel movement, tribal chieftain Nawab Akbar Bugti, in an army raid on his cave hideout in August 2006.