NORTH WAZIRISTAN: Four terrorists were killed during an intelligence-based operation in the Miramshah area of North Waziristan tribal district on Sunday, sources said.

Four soldiers embraced martyrdom while three personnel suffered injuries during the operation.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media affairs wing of the military, confirmed the incident. In a brief statement, the ISPR said that four terrorists were killed during an intelligence-based operation (IOB) in Vezhda Sar, some eight kilometres southwest of the Boya area in Miramshah.

It explained that the sanitisation force conducted the operation against the terrorists’ hideout in Vezhda Sar in the morning. “As soon as the troops cordoned off the area, terrorists opened fire. All dug out terrorists were shot down by security forces,” it added.

An official said terrorists opened fire on security forces when they were conducting the search operation in the area. As a result, four soldiers embraced martyrdom. Security forces had reportedly encircled several suspected compounds in the area, which led to a heavy exchange of fire with the terrorists. Four terrorists were killed in the exchange of fire.

Four soldiers embrace martyrdom; area cleared by security forces

An official dealing with security matters told this correspondent that three of the four terrorists had been identified as Masaad, Johar and Zia Ullah, while the name of the fourth deceased could not be ascertained immediately. Following the encounter, search operation was conducted in the area.

The ISPR stated: “In exch­ange of fire, four soldiers embraced shahadat. Later the area (was) cleared by sanitisation force.”

According to the ISPR, the names of the martyrs are Sepoy Mohammad Ismail Khan, Sepoy Mohammad Shahbaz Yasin, Sepoy Raja Waheed Ahmed and Sepoy Mohammad Rizwan Khan.

Officials said Subedar Khalid, Havildar Javed and Sepoy Sami suffered injuries and were shifted to hospital.

Attacks on security forces have witnessed a surge during the last three months in North Waziristan. More than one dozen personnel, including officers, embraced martyrdom in blasts and in exchanges of fire with militants. The last such clash occurred in the Razmak area on June 20 in which a captain and a soldier were martyred. In the tribal district, targeted killings and kidnapping of government officials and civilians were also on the rise. Five civilians, including two teenagers, have been killed in North Waziristan since Friday, while a man, who had been kidnapped five days ago, was found dead on Saturday.

Published in Dawn, July 13th, 2020