Four terrorists were killed and six soldiers embraced martyrdom in an exchange of fire on Tuesday in South Waziristan district, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.

“On 22 August 2023, [a] fire exchange took place between own troops and terrorists in general area Asman Manza, South Waziristan District,” the ISPR said.

According to the military’s media wing, the armed forces effectively engaged with the terrorists’ location and consequently, “four terrorists were sent to hell, while two terrorists were injured”.

ISPR confirmed that “six brave soldiers having fought gallantly, embraced martyrdom after an intense exchange of fire”.

“Sanitisation of the area is being carried out to eliminate any other terrorists found in the area,” the ISPR continued.

The ISPR said that the Pakistani armed forces are determined to eliminate the menace of terrorism, adding that “such sacrifice of our brave soldiers further strengthen[s] our resolve”.

Former prime minister and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif lauded the martyrs in a post on social media platform X.

“The nation firmly stands behind its armed forces in eliminating terrorism and pays glowing tributes to their valour.”

The security operation comes as Pakistan faces an uptick in terror activities, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, after the outlawed TTP ended its ceasefire with the government in November last year.

The armed forces killed two terrorists on August 19 during an intelligence-based operation (IBO) in the Bara area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Khyber district, ISPR said last week.

On August 12, two people were killed in what police described were targeted attacks in North Waziristan. On August 8, two policemen were among four people killed in separate attacks in North Waziristan and Peshawar.

Last month, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police said 665 militant attacks, including 15 suicide bombings, were reported in the province between June 18, 2022, and June 18, 2023.

A report released in July by the think tank Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies said the first half of the current year witnessed a steady and alarming rise in terror and suicide attacks, claiming the lives of 389 people across the country.

In a press conference in June, Inter-Services Public Relations Director General Maj Gen Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry said that the security forces conducted 13,619 intelligence operations this year in which 1,172 terrorists were killed or arrested.

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