PESHAWAR: Security forces killed four terrorists in two separate gun battles in North Waziristan district, where a polio worker was wounded in an attack, while three soldiers sustained injuries in another ambush in Khyber district close to the Afghan border, official sources said on Saturday.

Three of the terrorists were killed in an exchange of fire with law enforcers during an intelligence-based operation in the Ghulam tehsil of North Waziristan, according to the military’s media department, Inter-Services Public Relations.

Another militant was killed during an exchange of fire in North Waziristan when a group of terrorists from Afghanistan attempted to break the border fence near the Kanjeera and Wargar Sar military posts, the official sources said, adding that a security official, Saqib, suffered injuries in the encounter and was shifted to Miramshah hospital.

In another gun attack, a polio vaccinator, Shershah, was injured in the Madakhel area of North Waziristan. He was rushed to Mirali hospital from where doctors referred him to Peshawar for further treatment.

Polio worker injured in gun attack; three soldiers hurt in assault on border post

In the neigbouring Khyber district, at least three soldiers sustained gunshot wounds in an attack on a military post in the Tirah valley near the Pak-Afghan border, official sources said.

Security officials said suspected armed militants attacked the security post in Serrai Kandaw locality of the valley. The three security personnel were immediately shifted to a nearby military healthcare centre, the sources said, adding that the attackers escaped when security forces returned fire. Later during a search operation, at least 13 suspects were picked up for interrogation and shifted to an undisclosed location, the sources said.

About the intelligence-based operation conducted in Ghulam tehsil of North Waziristan, official sources disclosed that it was a joint operation of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of police and Anti-Terrorism Force of Frontier Corps in Ginga Khair Kalle area, following the reports about the intrusion of a group of terrorists from Afghanistan into North Waziristan.

They said the terrorists opened fire on the security forces and in the ensuing exchange of fire between them, three terrorists were gunned down and their three accomplices fled back to Afghanistan. According to the official sources, the killed terrorists were later identified as Saeedullah alias Ali, son of Mohammad Saeed, a resident of Kunar, Afghanistan; Ziaur Rehman Afridi alias Talha, son of Ashiq Khan, a resident of Bara tehsil in Khyber district and Mustaqeem Khan, son of Gul Zaman, a resident of Noweshera’s Pabbi Chowki Durrab.

They said the terrorists, said to be affiliated with Islamic State (ISIS), had come from a hideout in Kunar, Afghanistan. “It is an intriguing fact that they opted to come to North Waziristan via Khost,” said an official familiar with security-related matters. The official believed the militants took that route because they were unfamiliar with the terrain and route or they had planned to carry out some attack.

Weapons, ammunition, Pakistani currency, and documents were also seized from their possession, the official sources said.

They said the eliminated militants remained actively involved in terrorist activities, including targeted killings, facilitation of other militants, and attacks through improvised explosive device. They were involved in the killing of traffic police constable, Kamranullah Hameed, in Nowshera’s Pabbi Bazaar in March, the sources added.

Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2022

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