LANDI KOTAL: Security forces regained control of some strategic heights in Tirah valley after a fresh offensive in which 35 militants were killed, said a statement issued by the ISPR on Sunday.mi

One soldier lost his life and five others suffered injuries during the operation which started on June 6 and continued till Saturday.

The ISPR said that security forces had taken control of the centrally located Dary Stana ridge overlooking most areas of Maidan and Kukikhel. “Security forces have successfully flushed out Taliban from their stronghold of Darwazgai Kandao,” it said. Fighting was more intense in Karna Khel, Barani and Zarkanai areas.

According to sources, during the recent offensive the soldiers were backed by tribal lashkars of Malikdin Khel and Shalobar. They said that after taking control in February of Bagh Maidan, the headquarters of the pro-government Ansarul Islam group, militants had set fire to about 300 houses belonging to the tribesmen of Malikdin Khel, Bar Qambar Khel, Shalobar and Zakhakhel.

They said that while the army had descended on the Maidan from Angori Sangar and Kala Woch hilltops, a large number of volunteers of Malikdin Khel and Shalibar lashkars reached Warsak area of Shalobar and Umarkhel of Malikdin Khel from the Dabori side of Orakzai Agency after the troops had cleared the areas of militants.

They said the entire Maidan valley would be under the control of the security forces within days since they were already in control of more than 50 per cent areas of Bar Qambar Khel, Zakhakhel and Malikdin Khel. The troops have taken the areas of Haider Kandao, Qismat Sangar and Tirah Sangar and their control is now being handed over to the volunteers of peace committees headed by Hani Naseeb and Haji Kaptan.—Correspondent

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