KALAYA: Ten suspected militants were killed in air strikes and six others arrested when security forces backed by helicopter gunships and military planes continued a search operation in different areas of central Orakzai for the fourth day on Thursday.
Three suspected militants died in a bomb blast in Tirah valley of Khyber agency and a militant leader was killed and nine of his accomplices were arrested in North Waziristan.
Troops conducted the search operation while helicopter gunships pounded militant hideouts in Shiekhan area of central Orakzai. Twelve hideouts were destroyed, 10 `militants’ killed and six others arrested.
The operation was launched after a recent attack on a convoy of security forces in Wad Mela area, which left four soldiers dead and six others injured.
More than 27 suspected militants have been killed in the operation in Ashgar Tangi, Wad Mela and Shiekhan areas over the past three days.
LANDI KOTAL: Suspected militants were preparing an improvised explosive device in Thor Darra area in Tirah valley when it went off prematurely, killing at least three men.
Unconfirmed reports said the dead included Hafiz Saeed, a former Taliban leader who had pledged allegiance to the self-styled Islamic State after developing differences with top leadership of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan. He led TTP in Orakzai and Kurram agencies.
LADHA: A key leader of the Haqqani Network was killed and nine militants were arrested during a clash with security forces in Sra Kanda area of Barmal tehsil near Wana, North Waziristan. However, one suspect managed to escape.
Intelligence sources said that 11 members of the Haqqani Network were going to Wana via Shawal in a pick-up. When the militants reached near a security check-post in Sra Kanda, an exchange of fire took place between them and security personnel.
The slain militant was identified as Farooq, a key figure of the Haqqani Network and brother of senior militant leaders Sangeen and Bilal Zadran. Those arrested included Israr Ahmed, Rahim Gul, Abid, Mohsin, Gul Mohammad, Amirullah, Azbullah and Khan Zali Khan.
The sources said that a huge cache of arms was recovered from suspects and their pick-up was impounded.
Published in Dawn, April 17th, 2015