NORTH WAZIRISTAN: Three civilians were killed and 14 others, including nine security personnel, wounded in a suicide attack in the Sargardan area of North Waziristan tribal district on Wednesday.

Security officials said a convoy of security forces was on its way from Datta Khel tehsil to Miramshah when the suicide bomber riding a motorbike hit it.

They said the deceased and the wounded were shifted to the District Head­quarters Hospital, Miramshah.

The area was cordoned off by security forces after the incident.

No more details about the incident were immediately available.

The Inter-Ser­vices Public Relations, the media wing of the military, has not issued any statement about the incident.

Meanwhile, security officials said that intelligence-based operations (IBO) are being carried out against the militants in the area, adding that four militants were killed in one such operation recently.

On Dec 10, they said, four men affiliated with the militant Islamic State group, also known as IS-Khorasan, were killed in the IBO which was jointly carried out by security forces and the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), Bannu region, in the Darduni area along the border with Afghanistan.

The official further said that the operation was carried out after intelligence agencies had received information that some militants had planned to enter from Afghanistan.

“[The] IBO was planned after [an] intelligence agency received information about a possible entry of militants from Afghanistan into Pakistan,” a senior security official said, adding that “six persons crossed into Pakistan and opened fire at the security forces and CTD personnel”.

According to these officials, a gunfight took place between security forces and the militants and four IS-K militants were killed while two others managed to flee back to Afghanistan.

“A local IS-K commander Muhammad Daud from Shakaryal, Abdullah from Hazar Khwani, Muhammad Laiq from Dibak Saidkhel and an unknown militant were killed in the exchange of fire,” a security official confirmed, adding two hand grenades, two Kalashnikovs, six magazines, two pistols, ammunition and Pakistani currency were recovered from the militants’ possession.

The official also informed that attacks on law enforcement agencies personnel have increased in district Malakand and southern and recently merged districts.

Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2022

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