PESHAWAR / LAKKI MARWAT: At least 12 ‘terrorists’ of the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were killed in a midnight intelligence-based operation (IBO) jointly carried out by members of security forces and police in Lakki Marwat district.
Official sources said on Wednesday that terrorists of the TTP’s Azharuddin group were moving from Lakki Marwat district to Tank district when a joint team blocked the road to stop the TTP convoy. When the convoy was intercepted by security forces and police personnel, the terrorists opened fire, triggering an exchange of fire.
“The truck (with terrorists onboard) was intercepted near Chuharkheil area of the district and an exchange of fire took place,” official sources said.
An official statement issued by the military’s media wing, Inter Services Public Relation (ISPR), confirmed the developments.
“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 statement said.
The statement said that after the exchange of fire, a search operation was launched and apart from weapons and ammunition, Afghan currency was also recovered from the killed insurgents’ possession.
“Locals appreciated the operation and lauded efforts of Pakistan Army in eliminating terrorism,” the ISPR statement said, adding that security forces were carrying out a clearance operation in the area and identification process of the dead militants was under way.
“The process of identification of the militants is under way as some identity documents have been recovered from bodies of the militants,” official sources said.
They said that the terrorists were associated with Attiq-ur-Rehman and Azharuddin’s groups of the TTP, adding that bodies of the insurgents were later shifted to the Tajazai district headquarters hospital.
The Azharuddin group of the TTP has been actively involved in acts of terror in the area and in December last year it martyred six police personnel in the district.
The banned outfit’s activities against police and law-enforcement agencies have recently witnessed a surge with most of terror attacks taking place against armed forces, para-military forces, police check posts and police stations on the border with the erstwhile tribal districts.
The terrorists, according to senior police officials, had equipped themselves with modern gadgets — left by the US and allied forces in Afghanistan.
On January 30, around 84 people, most of them policemen, embraced martyrdom when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a mosque in the heavily-guarded Peshawar police headquarters. The attack also left 221 people wounded.
On January 14, a senior police officer along with two constables embraced martyrdom in a midnight terrorist attack, which officials believe was the first of its kind as modern gadgets had been used to target police personnel in Sarband Police Station area on the outskirts of Peshawar.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Sardar Hussain and his gunmen Irshad Khan and Jahanzeb embraced martyrdom in the attack and the TTP had claimed responsibility for it.
In November 2022, the TTP called off the ceasefire agreed with the government in June 2022 and ordered the militants to stage attacks across the country.
Published in Dawn, February 9th, 2023
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