KHAR: With no let-up in sight in fighting in Salarzai tehsil, two key Taliban ‘commanders’ and a militant were killed on Saturday in Bajaur Agency.
Two civilians were killed when several mortar shells fired from Afghanistan landed in a village in Nawagai tehsil of the agency.
An administration official said that two important ‘commanders’ of Tehrik-i-Taliban, identified as Shahid Omar and Huzaifa, were killed in clashes with security forces in Batwar area of Salarzai tehsil.
“Security forces and volunteers of Salarzai Qaumi Lashkar have claimed taking control of several key locations and pushing militants back but they have been facing stiff resistance and the area is yet to be cleared of militants,” the official said.
Local people said fierce fighting continued in Lakian, Batwar, Tendo Dak and others parts of the Salarzai tehsil.
Both sides were using heavy weapons against each other while the local people have largely been confined to their homes.
Troops backed up by helicopter gunships, jets and artillery pieces attacked militants’ positions but were yet to take complete control of the area.
However, the militants are slowly and gradually vacating their bunkers and are now on the run, according to security officials.
Saidur Rahman, a member of the Salarzai Qaumi Lashkar, told Dawn that hundreds of volunteers took positions in different areas to fight alongside security forces against the attackers.
He said that several new posts had been set up in various localities of the border villages to keep vigil on the activities of suspected militants.
Tariq Khan, a local resident, said he saw a large number of trapped tribesmen being rescued by the security forces and volunteers. They have been shifted to safe places.
Officials in the local administration said that several mortar shells, fired from Afghanistan, landed in Bra Kamangara area in Nawagai tehsil.
Two of the shells fell on a house, killing two people and injuring five others. The deceased were identified as Liaquat and Yaar Gul and the injured as Wahid Khan, Sher Khan, Mushtaq Khan and Meer Mohammad.
The injured were taken to the Nawagai civil hospital where condition of the two injured is said to be critical.