The Counter Terrorism Department in Peshawar on Tuesday claimed to have repulsed an attack by militants on law enforcers last night in North Waziristan’s Mir Ali area, killing at least four operatives of the proscribed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

According to a CTD statement issued on Tuesday, the militants belonging to the TTP attacked a law enforcers van carrying prisoners near Mir Ali Bypass. The inmates were being transported from Miranshah to Bannu by the CTD personnel when they came under attack.

It said militants opened indiscriminate fire on the convoy of security men, prompting law enforcers to retaliate.

“Due to firing by militants, all three inmates present in the van were killed,” the statement said, adding that four TTP terrorists were also shot dead in the exchange of fire while five to six others managed to flee under the cover of darkness.

It said the slain terrorists were wanted by law enforcers in a number of heinous crimes.

“The terrorists were involved in the targeted killings of security personnel. They were also involved in the killing of constable Iftikhar,” the CTD said.

A clearance operation was under way in the area to look for the fleeing terrorists, the statement added.

Last week, the CTD claimed to have killed a suspected terrorist allegedly belonging to the TTP in an encounter and arrested 11 other members of banned outfits from different cities during intelligence-based operations (IBOs) across Punjab.

Pakistan has been hit by a wave of terrorism, mostly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but also in Balochistan and the Punjab town of Mianwali, which borders KP. The renewed wave of terrorism also reached as far as the peripheries of Islamabad.

January was the deadliest month since 2018, in which 134 people lost their lives — a 139 per cent spike — and 254 received injuries in at least 44 militant attacks across the country.

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