LANDI KOTAL / PESHAWAR: At least 24 suspected militants were killed in air strikes on their positions in the stronghold of the banned Lashkar-i-Islam in Khyber Agency’s Tirah valley on Saturday while raids by security personnel near Peshawar claimed seven lives.
According to some officials, a facilitator of the recent school attack and a brother of the mastermind lost their lives in the raids.
The Tirah valley saw air attacks on militant positions for the third day running. The sorties were carried out in Santana, Nangrosa and Therkho Kas areas — places believed to be strongholds of the Lashkar-i-Islam. Seven of the hideouts were destroyed, officials claimed.
However, independent sources said eight civilians — a teenage son, three grandsons and two women of the family of a tribesman, Taj Mohammad Qambarkhel, and two of his Afghan guests — were killed when his house in Therkho Kas was attacked by the planes.
A facilitator of the Peshawar carnage eliminated
Five militants were killed when military personnel raided a compound in Koi Hassankhel in the semi-autonomous Frontier Region near Peshawar.
A security official said a brother of Umar Khalifa, the mastermind of the Army Public School attack, was among those killed in the raid carried out on an intelligence tip.
In Saro Kali area of Shabqadar, two militants were killed following hot pursuit by police and paramilitary Frontier Corps personnel.
One of them was a facilitator of the school attackers, police said, citing intelligence reports.
A police sub inspector and an FC havildar were also killed in the clash, Senior Superintendent of Police Najibur Rehman Bugvi said.
Meanwhile, armed men kidnapped Gul Sher, younger brother of Khan Sher, a leader of Tauheedul Islam, a pro-government group.
Published in Dawn, December 21st, 2014