Security forces killed 12 terrorists of the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) during an intelligence-based operation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Lakki Marwat area, the military’s media wing said on Wednesday.

According to a statement issued by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), security forces and the terrorists exchanged fire late Tuesday night during which the militants were killed.

“Terrorists’ movement and activities were being watched by intelligence tentacles for the last one week. Terrorists were lured in by providing a vehicle for escape that was intercepted and neutralised,” the ISPR said.

Weapons, ammunition and Afghan currency were also recovered from the terrorists during the operation, it stated, adding that security forces were carrying out a clearance operation in the area.

“Locals appreciated the operation and lauded the efforts of Pakistan Army in eliminating terrorism,” the statement concluded.

Over the past few months, the law and order situation in the country has worsened, with terrorist groups executing attacks with near impunity across the country.

Since the talks with the TTP broke down in November, the militant group has intensified its attacks, particularly targeting the police in KP and areas bordering Afghanistan. Insurgents in Balochistan have also stepped up their violent activities and formalised a nexus with the outlawed TTP.

According to statistics released by the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), January 2023 remained one of the deadliest months since July 2018, as 134 people lost their lives — a 139 per cent spike — and 254 received injuries in at least 44 militant attacks across the country.

Most recently, more than 80 people — mostly cops — lost their lives during a suicide attack at a mosque in Peshawar’s Police Lines. The TTP had earlier claimed responsibility for the attack. It later distanced itself from it but sources earlier indicated that it might have been the handiwork of some local faction of the banned group.

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