NORTH WAZIRISTAN: Three Pakistani soldiers were martyred and four others injured in firing from acr­­oss the Afghan border in North Waziristan tribal district on Saturday amid rep­o­rts that the Ghulam Khan border crossing has been clo­s­ed for an indefinite period.

A statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Rela­tions (ISPR) in Peshawar said that security forces responded in a befitting manner in which, according to credible intelligence reports, the attackers suffered heavy casualties.

Independent sources reported the killing of one suspected terrorist in the retaliatory firing. They said the deceased belonged to the proscribed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

The statement said that during the exchange of fire Havaldar Taimoor, 30; Naik Shoaib, 38; and Sepoy Saqib Nawaz, 24, embraced martyrdom.

Sources said that four soldiers received injuries. They were identified as Subedar Qadir, Naik Waqar, Lance Naik Saleem and Sepoy Waqar. They were shifted to a hospital in Miramshah.

According to the ISPR statement, Pakistan strongly condemned the use of Afghan soil by terrorists for activities against it and expected that Kabul would not allow conduct of such activities in the future.

It said the Pakistan Army is determined to defend the country’s borders against the menace of terrorism, adding that the sacrifices of the country’s brave soldiers would further strengthen its resolve.

Attacks on security forces inside Waziristan districts from across the Afghan border have increased.

Officials said that April has proved to be most fatal for security forces as during this month 19 officers and soldiers have been martyred in different acts of terrorism.

According to them, at least 136 officers and soldiers of security forces have been martyred since the Taliban swept to power in Afghanistan in August last year.

Following Saturday’s cross-border attack, the authorities closed the Ghulam Khan border crossing for an indefinite period.

Local people said a large number of vehicles loaded with perishable and non-perishable items are stranded on both sides of the border.

Two weeks ago, Pakistani authorities had closed the Angoor Adda border crossing in South Waziristan district after an attack on security post. A major and a soldier were martyred in the firing incident on April 11.

Later, the Taliban administration erected a wall on their side of the border.

The Angoor Adda route has now been reopened.

Targeted killing

Meanwhile, two people died, apparently in acts of targeted killing in Mirali town of North Waziristan on Saturday.

Local people said unidentified gunmen opened fire at a young man in Mirali town, killing him on the spot. The deceased was identified as Sadam Hussain, a resident of Hormez village.

In the other incident, attackers riding a motorcycle shot dead a man in town. The victim was identified as Salim Khan, a resident of Hasokhel.

Published in Dawn, April 24th, 2022

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