LAKKI MARWAT/KHYBER: A Pakistan Army soldier was martyred in a bomb blast in Bannu and a suspected militant was killed in a joint operation in Khyber tribal district on Monday.

A local official told Dawn that an improvised explosive device (IED) was planted by militants in the Janikhel area of Bannu district and it exploded when it was being defused by the bomb disposal unit.

“The [explosive] device went off when it was being defused. Sepoy Gul Sher suffered serious injuries in the blast. He was rushed to the Combined Military Hospital, Ban­nu, but succumbed to injuries,” he said.

The army’s media wing, ISPR, confirmed the incident. “An IED exploded in the general area Jani­khel of Bannu district. A 24-year-old Sepoy, Gul Sher, a resident of Khyber district, embraced martyrdom in the attack. Sanitisation of the area is being carried out to eliminate any terrorists,” the ISPR said in a statement.

Meanwhile, a suspected militant was killed by the counter-terrorism department and intelligence agencies in a joint operation in the Jam­rud area of Khyber tribal district.

An official source told Dawn that the operation was carried out in Mandatu Kotay locality of Ghundi area on a tip-off about the presence of Stana Gul, who was suspected of being a facilitator for the Jan 20 suicide bombing in Takhtabeg area of Jamrud tehsil. He said Gul, a local resident, was killed in an exchange of fire with the raiding team.

On Thursday, a “suicide bomber” was killed before he could target a police post on the main Peshawar-Torkham Highway in Takhtabeg area.

However, the militants accompanying him hurled hand grenades at the post leading to the martyrdom of three people, including two police personnel and a civilian.

According to District Police Officer Mohammad Imran, the militants had conducted a “three-pronged coordinated” attack at the checkpost at around 7:30pm.

“The attackers, including a suicide bomber, hurled hand grenades at the police post and fired gunshots indiscriminately, killing a policeman on the spot and critically injuring two others, including a cook,” Mr Imran told reporters after the attack.

The DPO said a policeman succumbed to his injuries on the way to the hospital, while the cook died at the Hayatabad Medical Complex, Peshawar.

Published in Dawn, January 24th, 2023

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