PESHAWAR: Two security officials were marty­red and a militants’ ringleader was killed in an exchange of fire between security forces and militants in the Buner district on Saturday, the military’s media wing said.

The Inter-Services Pub­lic Relations (ISPR) said in a statement that the security forces carried out an intelligence-based ope­ra­tion on the reported pre­sence of militants in the district, adding that an intense exchange of fire took place between security forces and militants during the operation.

During the crossfire, a high-value target and militant ringleader, Saleem alias Rabbani, was gun­ned down by security for­ces. Rabbani had remai­ned actively involved in numerous militant activities against the security forces as well as extortion and target killings of civilians, the ISPR said.

“He [Rabbani] was highly wanted by the law enforcement agencies and the government had fixed head money of Rs5 million on him,” it said.

Two security officials were martyred during the operation identified as Lance Havildar Mudassar Mehmood, 36, from Rawalpindi district, and Lance Naik Haseeb Javed, 27, from Azad Kashmir’s Poonch district.

“Sanitisation operation is being carried out to eli­m­inate any other terrorists found in the area,” the ISPR said, adding that “sec­urity forces of Pak­istan remain determined to wipe out the menace of terrorism and such sacrifices of our brave soldiers further strengthen our resolve”.

On March 20, two militants were killed in a gun battle between security forces and militants in the North Waziristan district.

The ISPR said the militants were killed during an operation in the area where an intense exchange of fire took place between security forces and militants.

Published in Dawn, April 14th, 2024

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