PESHAWAR/SWAT: Three soldiers were martyred during clashes between security forces and militants in North and South Waziristan districts, according to the military’s media affairs wing. Two militants were also killed in the fighting, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

In Swat, meanwhile, a key militant commander of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban (TTP) was arrested during an operation in which a civilian lost his life and a policeman was injured.

ISPR said in a statement on Monday that troops effectively engaged the terrorists’ location in the Ladha area of South Waziristan. “However, during an intense exchange of fire, Lance Naik Muhammad Sabir, 30, a resident of Mansehra district, having fought gallantly, embraced Shah­adat,” it added.

The North Waziristan clash took place on Saturday late night. The ISPR said security forces effectively engaged the militants’ location, killing two terrorists and injuring two others, adding that weapons and ammunition were also recovered from the militants killed during the clash.

Two militants killed in North, South Waziristan; TTP ‘commander’ held in Swat

“However, during an intense exchange of fire, 38-year-old Naik Zaheer Abbas, a resident of Khushab district, and 23-year-old Lance Naik Mairaj Ud Din, a resident of Dera Ismail Khan district, having fought gallantly, embr­aced Shahadat,” the ISPR said, adding that sanitisation of the area was being carried out to eliminate any other militants found in the area.

It said the armed forces were determined to eliminate the menace of terrorism and such sacrifices of the brave soldiers further strengthen the forces’ resolve.

TTP commander held

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police chief Akhtar Hayat Khan Ganda­pur said on Monday that a key militant commander and one of his facilitators belonging to TTP’s Salim Rabbani group were arre­sted by the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) in Swat district.

Speaking at a news conference in Swat, he said arms and ammunition were recovered from the militants. The TTP commander was identified as Rafiullah who entered the Banjot area of Swat district on May 23 from Afghanistan via Khyber district.

The KP police chief said a civilian was killed and a cop injured during the exchange of fire with the militants. He identified the commander’s facilitator as Asmatullah and said another militant Zakir Ullah was absconding.

“The terrorists wanted to reach the Manglawar area to target former MNAs, local leaders and peace activists in Swat,” he added.

Published in Dawn, June 6th, 2023

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