• ISPR says men were trying to cross Pak-Afghan border in Batwar area
• Soldier martyred in North Waziristan gun battle

PESHAWAR: A soldier of Pakistan Army embraced martyrdom when militants from inside Afghanistan opened fire on a Pakistani border post in North Waziristan, while three militants were killed during an exchange of fire with security forces in Bajaur district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

According to a statement issued on Sunday by the military’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Rela­tions (ISPR), three militants were gunned down when they tried to infiltrate the Pakistan-Afghan border in the Bajaur district.

It said that the movement of militants was detected by security forces in the district’s Batwar area. During an exchange of fire with the security forces, three militants were killed and weapons, ammunition, and explosives were also recovered from the killed militants.

The military’s media wing also said that another exchange of fire took place in the Spinwam area of North Waziristan on the night between December 30 and 31.

Militants from inside Afghanistan, opened fire on a Pakistani border post in Spinwam area of North Waziristan District. Own troops responded in a befitting manner causing considerable losses to the militants, the statement said.

However, during the exchange of fire, 31-year-old Naik Abdul Rauf, a resident of Rahim Yar Khan, embraced martyrdom.

Pakistan has consistently been asking interim Afghan government to ensure effective border management on their side of the border, it said. Interim Afghan government is expected to fulfil its obligations and deny the use of Afghan soil by militants for perpetuating acts of militancy against Pakistan, it said.

It may be recalled that five militants, including commander Rahzaib alias Khuray, were killed on Saturday in an intelligence-based operation carried out by security forces in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan district.

“During the conduct of the operation, after an intense fire exchange, the five terrorists were eliminated, who remained actively involved in numerous terrorist activities against security forces as well as extortion and target killings of innocent civilians,”

ISPR said, adding that the forces also recovered weapons and ammunition during the operation.

With intelligence reports claiming that militants flee to Afghanistan after carrying out activities in Pakistan, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Counter-Terrorism Department stated on August 22 that Islamabad and Kabul were in contact with each other to address the issue.

“There is a state-to-state contact [between Pakistan and Afghanistan] to work out a solution [to the escape of militants to Afghanistan]. Very serious negotiations are underway,” Additional Inspector-General and head of the CTD’s KP chapter Shaukat Abbas told reporters in response to a question during a briefing.

Mr Abbas said the department located relatives of the suicide bomber who targeted a vehicle of the security forces on August 9 in Bajaur and was working to identify the bomber, who blew himself up at a JUI-F convention in the tribal district on July 30. “The suicide bomber in the attack on the JUI-F moot is most probably an Afghan national,” he said.

Published in Dawn, January 1st, 2024

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