SWAT/LOWER DIR: Swat police on Wednesday said that a search operation was being conducted in different areas to arrest the militants who opened fire at a police party two days ago in the mountainous area bordering Swat and Dir districts.

According to a statement issued by District Police Office, a search operation was being conducted on Monday in the mountains of Matta tehsil’s Balasoor area, which borders Swat and Dir districts, when some miscreants opened fire on police. The operation was started after militants were spotted in the mountains of Kanala and Balasoor areas.

Matta Circle DSP Pir Syed Khan was injured in the firing, while the militants escaped when the police opened retaliatory fire, the statement added.

Following the incident, the district police, counterterrorism department and Elite Force reached the spot and extended the search operation to adjoining areas.

The injured DSP was rushed to Saidu Sharif Hospital, where he remains under treatment, the statement added.

Swat police spokesperson Moin Fayaz also confirmed that operations were being conducted in the mountains of Kabal and Khwazkhela tehsils.

A video being circulated on social media purportedly shows a man — claiming to be a Taliban militant — interviewing DSP Khan and two officers, who as per unverified claims, belonged to Pakistan Army.

The video also claimed that the three individuals were held captive by Taliban militants.

Similarly, a recorded telephone call, allegedly between a Taliban militant and a journalist, was also making rounds on social media, in which the militant could be heard saying that they [Taliban militants] have made a DSP and two army officers hostages and would not free them until a jirga meets them.

Dawn was unable to independently verify both claims.

According to unofficial sources, all three captives were later released after successful negotiations with jirga members. However, the administration and police were still tight-lipped about any hostages taken by the militants.

Published in Dawn, August 11th, 2022

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