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KOHAT, Aug 22: At least 16 militants, two Chechens among them, were killed when security forces opened fire on an explosives-laden vehicle which caught fire and blew up near the Sur Pul security checkpoint in Doaba area of Hangu on Friday.

DPO Mohammad Idrees told Dawn that the bodies of the militants were lying unclaimed.

He said the militants belonged to Darra Adamkhel and had moved out from there when a military operation was launched in February.

It is believed that there were two suicide bombers in the vehicle. “It is not yet clear if they were suicide bombers but the blast in the vehicle strengthened the belief that the two Chechens might be wearing suicide jackets.”

One policeman and a security man from 31-FF regiment suffered injuries during a clash before the blast.

Sources said that the militants were in a car and a pick-up. When they were stopped by the forces near Doaba, some of them came out and asked the security personnel to allow them to cross the checkpost.

The forces gave them two minutes to surrender or face action.

This caused an exchange of hot words followed by firing. One militant who was outside when the blast took place was captured.

Residents of Darra Adamkhel were trying to get to the area to identify the bodies and arrange burial, but they had not received permission till late in the night.

AFGHANS HELD: The Hangu police have claimed to have arrested two Afghan ‘terrorists’ in Thall area and seized weapons found in their possession.

The DPO said the terrorists were carrying two Kalashnikovs, one rocket-launcher and one pistol.

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