KALAYA/MIRAMSHAH, Sept 25: Eight militants were killed and a security man injured in a clash in upper Orakzai Agency on Tuesday.

Official sources told Dawn that militants attacked security forces in Barlas area, some 45km west of Ghaljo, agency headquarters of upper Orakzai Agency, injuring soldier Omar Gul.

They said the soldier was shifted to the hospital before security forces backed by tanks and artillery targeted militants, killing eight and injuring three.

Sources said a vehicle of militants was also destroyed in the fighting.

However, the Taliban denied the killings and said not a single militant was killed in the clash.

Spokesman for Taliban Hafiz Saeed said from an undisclosed location over the telephone that militants had caused heavy damage to the life and property of security forces.

Meanwhile, security forces conducted search operation in Narik and Dappar Kalli areas also in the day and seized a huge cache of arms.

In Miramshah, three Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) employees returned home within 72 hours of their kidnapping.

Azhar, Fayyaz and Haider Shah, all belonging to Punjab province and working on a highway in Ghulama Khan area, were taken away by unidentified people along with an oil tanker.

Shortly after the kidnappings, local political agent Siraj Ahmad Khan ordered the sealing of all entry and exit points to North Waziristan Agency to keep a tight watch on the movement of kidnappers.

He also formed parties to raid possible hideouts of kidnappers under the supervision of Ghulama Khan’s political tehsildar Khandan and tehsildar Shah Wazir.

The political agent told local reporters that efforts of the said parties led to safe recovery of the kidnapped FWO employees along with the oil tanker and that, too, without payment of ransom.

He said nobody would be allowed to take the law into their own hands and that the administration had zero tolerance for kidnappings.

Local elders and clerics, who were also in attendance, assured the administration of complete support for peace.

Meanwhile, political agent Siraj Ahmad Khan restored all perks and privileges of local tribesmen.

He said he was hopeful that tribesmen wouldn’t shelter militants in their respective areas after the restoration of perks and privileges.

Mr Khan urged tribesmen to help the administration establish the writ of the government in the area.

He said funding valuing billions of rupees had been allocated for development work in the region.

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