MIRAMSHAH, Sept 12: Security forces have arrested 15 suspected militants, nine of them Afghans, and recovered a huge quantity of weapons during raids in three different places, an army spokesman said here on Monday.
A security official said that apart from the nine Afghans, the remaining six were Pakistanis, including one from Bahawalpur, in the Punjab. “They are all jihadis,” the security official said.
The first raid was conducted on the madressah of former Taliban minister Commander Jalaluddin Haqqani in Dandi Darpakhel, 4 kilometres to the south of North Waziristan’s regional headquarters.
Troops besieged the madressah late in the night and conducted a search operation after hours of talks with the inmates through local tribesmen, the spokesman said.
Haqqani is believed to be responsible for most of the attacks on Afghan troops and the US-led coalition forces in southern Afghanistan.
The madressah has been raided in the past also but each time Haqqani has somehow managed to evade his pursuers. The Afghan government claims that he is hiding in Pakistan’s tribal area.
Twelve suspects, including nine Afghans, later surrendered to the security forces, the spokesman said.
They were identified as Omar, son of Shah Mehmood from Bahawalpur, Nisar, son of Arsala Khan from Bajaur Agency, Haroon Rashid, son of Fateh Khan Gandapur, Mateullah, son of Said Rehman from Bannu, Qamar Zaman, son of Khan Bakhsh from Dera Ismail Khan.
The spokesman said that security forces had recovered a huge quantity of arms and ammunition including grenades, mortar bombs and other explosives.
The second raid was conducted in Machikhel village near Mirali in which the brother of one Badshah Mir and another Afghan were arrested.
An arrest was made in a third raid about 3 kilomtres to the south of Mirali.
The Corps Commander in Peshawar, Lt. Gen. Safdar Hussain, has been camping in Miramshah to personally supervise the search operation against militants in the tribal region that borders Afghanistan.
Pakistan has been under pressure to take action against militants, ahead of the landmark parliamentary elections in Afghanistan later this month.
Gunship helicopters were also used during the operation.
Meanwhile, officials said that 40 Afghan refugees were arrested as they were crossing over from Afghanistan and entering Miramshah.
The authorities had ordered Afghan refugees to leave Miramshah after a spate of rocket attacks on government and security installations.