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Army attacks suspected militant hideouts near Pak-Afghan border

Updated February 17, 2017

Pakistan Army on Friday night targeted militant hideouts close to the Pak-Afghan border, DawnNews reported, quoting sources.

The Army reportedly targeted a training camp of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar — the banned terror outfit which claimed responsibility for the Feb 13 suicide bombing in Lahore and the Feb 15 suicide attack on the headquarters of the Mohmand Agency's political administration.

The camp was located near the Pak-Afghan border in areas adjacent to Mohmand and Khyber Agency, and was reportedly overseen by Jamaat-ul-Ahrar's deputy commander, Adil Bacha.

Sources said the Army destroyed the compound and four other terrorist hideouts. Militant casualties were reported, but there was no confirmation of the actual number.

The report could not be independently verified.

A few hours before the attack was reported, Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa had called Gen John Nicholson, commander of the US's Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, to protest continued acts of terrorism in Pakistan perpetrated from Afghanistan, saying they were "testing" Pakistan's policy of cross-border restraint.

Gen Bajwa had told Gen Nicholson that recent incidents of terrorism in Pakistan had been claimed by terrorist organisations whose leadership is hiding in Afghanistan, and asked him to play his role in “disconnecting this planning, direction, coordination and financial support”.

During the conversation with Nicholson, Bajwa also informed him of the list of 76 "most wanted" terrorists handed over to Afghan authorities earlier today.

The development came hours after the Inter-Services Public Relations announced that security forces had been given special orders to maintain strict vigilance along the Pak-Afghan border.

“The border has been closed since last night due to security reasons. No cross-border or unauthorised entry will be allowed into Pakistan from Afghanistan,” read an ISPR statement issued Friday.

The military's media wing also claimed to have killed more than 100 suspected militants in intelligence-based operations carried out by security forces across the country, including Punjab, in the 24 hours since the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar bombing.