PESHAWAR: Police successfully foiled a terror bid by seizing a car containing a huge cache of explosive material from Khyber Agency’s Landi Kotal Bazaar on Friday morning.
Security officials said 250 kilograms of explosives had been planted inside a vehicle and it appeared that the car was going to be used in carrying out a major attack in Landi Kotal Bazaar. An attack of the scale would have caused extensive damage and huge loss of life.
After the explosive-laden vehicle was seized, security forces launched a search operation in order to clear the area.
Officials said the recent wave of violence in the region appears to be a blowback of Operation Khyber-1.
Intensifying their efforts to counter militants in Khyber, security forces had launched the operation in the region earlier this month.
Senior security sources told Dawn that this was an offensive launched to clear Bara tehsil. The main aim of the operation was to clear Khyber from Bara until the border of Tirah valley, following which the second phase of the operation will begin.
Khyber is among Pakistan’s seven semi-autonomous tribal districts near the Afghan border, rife with homegrown insurgents and foreign militants. These are also home to religious extremist organisations including Al Qaeda.
The plains of Bara hold strategic significance for militant groups as they connect the agency to the outskirts of Peshawar. The area was being used by militants to put pressure on the provincial capital. In recent weeks, police and military posts in and around Peshawar have come under attack.
The key area also straddles the Nato supply line into Afghanistan.
Khyber also links several agencies to each other, serving as a north-south route within the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). The region has been long fought over by a mix of militant organisations, including the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Ansarul Islam and Mangal Bagh’s Lashkar-i-Islam.