SOUTH WAZIRISTAN: The security forces killed two terrorists in South Waziristan tribal district on Monday.

In a statement issued here, the military’s media wing, ISPR, said Usman Ali and Waheed alias Lashtai of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan’s Sajna Group were killed in Nargosa area during an intelligence-based operation, which was carried out after an intense exchange of fire.

It added that another terrorist was held injured.

The ISPR said the terrorists were the improvised explosive device experts. It added that the two were terrorist trainers and motivators and were involved in attacks on security forces.

The statement said terrorist Usman was also involved in the Oct 14, 2020, attack on security forces in which Captain Umer Cheema, two junior commissioned officers and three soldiers embraced martyrdom and four others suffered injuries.

Sources told Dawn that both terrorists were associated with the Hakeemullah Mehsud faction of the TTP before they joined the TTP’s Sajna Group during the schism, which ensued after the killing of Hakeemullah in a US drone strike.

They said Sajna belonged to Shobikhel branch of Mehsud tribe and therefore, his faction was joined by many members of his clan, including Usman and Waheed.

The sources said Usman and Waheed, who belonged to Zangara area of South Waziristan district, shifted to Afghanistan after the launch of the Operation Rah-i-Nijat against militants but returned in April last year along with other TTP fighters.

They said a large number of terrorists belonging to various militant factions had returned to South Waziristan. The sources said other family members of terrorists Usman and Waheed were also part of the TTP network.

Around a month ago, Usman Ali’s brother commander Ghalib Khan was killed by security forces in an operation. Waheed is said to be to an ambush expert. His alias was Lashtai, a Pashto word, which stands for irrigation channel smoothly rushing water from one place to another. It also signified the stealthy nature of his actions.

Meanwhile, terrorists blew up a police checkpost on Miramshah-Dattakhel Road in North Waziristan tribal district.

However, no causality was reported as the checkpost in Ahmedkhel village, around 10km west of Miramshah, was unoccupied at the time of attack.

Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2021

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