LAKKI MARWAT: The Pakistan Army and police launched a joint search operation against terrorists in a forest along the Kurram River near Lakki Marwat city on Thursday.

Official sources told Dawn that a large contingent of military and police personnel was dispatched to the riverside area o a tip-off about the presence of terrorists.

They said that those personnel went to the area in the wee hours of the day and besieged the forest.

The sources said that the dense forest was located alongside the Kurram River in the limits of the Lakki Marwat, Saddar and Dadiwala police stations and was used by terrorists as a safe haven.

They said the terrorists had established hideouts there. Last week, a fierce gun battle occurred between the police and terrorists in the forest.

A rocket fired by terrorists destroyed a police van. However, no damage to public life was reported.

The sources said that the law-enforcement and security personnel attacked the militant hideouts with heavy weapons.

A villager told Dawn that he heard gunshots and explosions in the forest.

He said that when the villagers stepped out of their houses in the morning, they found security and police officials to be besieging the area around the forest.

Residents of Lakki city said that they heard explosions, while the mobile service remained suspended all through the day.

They said that they also saw gunship helicopters with “treetop flight” over the forest as they’re apparently there to assist ground forces in the crackdown on terrorists.

No casualty was reported.Meanwhile, Bannu regional police officer Syed Ashfaq Anwar inaugurated a command and control room at the police lines in the District Headquarters Complex Tajazai on Thursday. The control room has been named after a martyred head constable Jamshed Iqbal who had laid down his life in the line of duty in September last year.

Along with the deceased’s cop son, DPO Ziauddin Ahmed, SP investigation Mursad Khan and other police officials were also present on the occasion.

Mr Zia gave a briefing to the regional police chief about availability facilities in the command and control room.

Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2023

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