SOUTH WAZIRISTAN / D.I. KHAN: Five security personnel, including a senior military officer, were martyred in separate attacks in South Waziristan and Dera Ismail Khan on Tuesday.
According to an ISPR statement, Brig Mustafa Kamal Barki from Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), while leading the encounter from the front, embraced martyrdom and seven soldiers got injuries, two of them critical, in South Waziristan.
Police sources said Brig Barki was travelling from Angoor Ada to Wana when they came under attack in the Khamrang area, close to Afghan border. His driver also embraced martyrdom in the attack which took place around 6pm, they said.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack till late evening.
Brig Barki’s family also confirmed the reports of his martyrdom.
The ISPR said Brig Barki and his team put up a valiant resistance against the terrorists during an encounter and the officer sacrificed his life for peace of the motherland. The defence forces and intelligence agencies pledge to reaffirm and demonstrate firm resolve to eliminate the menace of terrorism from every inch of the country, the statement said.
Earlier in another encounter, security officials killed three terrorists before embracing martyrdom in Dera Ismail Khan, officials said.
According to ISPR, terrorists opened fire on a police checkpoint in general area of Khutti on the night of March 20 and 21. Security forces immediately cordoned the area, blocking all possible escape routes, and intercepted fleeing terrorists in the general area of Saggu. After an intense exchange of fire, three terrorists were eliminated and weapons and ammunition were seized from their custody.
During the exchange of fire, Havaldar Mohammad Azhar Iqbal, 42, resident of Lodhran; Naik Mohammad Asad, 34, resident of Khanewal; and Sepoy Mohammad Essa, 22, resident of South Waziristan, having fought gallantly, embraced martyrdom. A police official who sustained injuries was shifted to D.I. Khan hospital.
According to the ISPR, an operation is being carried out to eliminate any terrorists found in the area. The statement said the army was determined to eliminate the menace of terrorism and such sacrifices of brave soldiers further strengthen their resolve.
Security forces have killed at least 142 militants in last three months as operations to eliminate terrorism from the country continue. At least 1,007 militants were arrested in as many as 6,921 operations by security forces across the country during this period. In KP, a total of 1,960 operations were conducted, out of which 1,516 were area-domination operations, 301 were intelligence-based operations, and 143 were area-sanitisation operations. In the KP operations, 98 militants were killed and 540 were arrested.
While expressing his condolences, former premier and PTI chairman Imran Khan tweeted, “Saddenwd to learn that Brig. Mustafa Kamal Burki lost his life in a terrorist ambush. My condolences and prayers go to the family.”
Malik Asad in Islamabad also contributed to this report
Published in Dawn, March 22nd, 2023
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