A militant ringleader was killed during an intelligence-based operation (IBO) in Khyber district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Sunday, the military’s media affairs wing said.

According to a press release issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), security forces conducted an IBO on the reported presence of a “high-profile terrorist”.

“During the conduct of operation, after intense fire exchange, high-value terrorist ringleader Surat Gul alias Saifullah of Daesh was sent to hell,” it said.

The ISPR said that weapons, ammunition and explosives were also recovered from the “terrorist commander”, who “remained actively involved in numerous terrorist activities, including targeted killing of innocent civilians as well as extortion and was highly wanted by the law enforcement agencies”.

“Sanitisation operation is being conducted to eliminate any other terrorist found in the area. Locals of the area appreciated the operation and expressed their full support to eliminate the menace of terrorism,” the ISPR said.

Last week, two militants, including a senior commander, were killed in an IBO in North Waz­iristan district.

On February 5, 10 police officials were martyred and six others injured in a pre-dawn attack by dozens of militants on a police station in Dera Ismail Khan, as violence escalated ahead of the general elections.

On February 2, the ISPR said that 24 terrorists were killed during firefights and clearance operations in the Mach and Kolpur towns of Balochistan over three days.

The statement had come after security for­ces had thwarted three “coordinated attacks” launched by terrorists using rockets and sophisticated weapons in Mach. The terrorists also targeted a hotel and six shops in the Kolpur area and set them on fire.

Pakistan has witnessed an uptick in terror activities in the past year, especially in KP and Balochistan after the banned militant Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan ended its ceasefire with the government in November 2022.

According to an annual security report issued by the Centre for Research and Security Studies, Pakistan witnessed 1,524 violence-related fatalities and 1,463 injuries from 789 terror attacks and counter-terror operations in 2023 — marking a record six-year high.

KP and Balochistan were the primary centres of violence, accounting for over 90 per cent of all fatalities and 84pc of attacks, including incidents of terrorism and security forces operations.

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