Security forces killed three terrorists during an intelligence-based operation (IBO) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Khyber district, the military’s media wing said on Thursday.

In a statement, the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said an IBO was carried out in the area on the night of April 24/25 based on the “reported presence of terrorists”.

“During the conduct of operation, intense fire exchange took place between own troops and terrorists, as a result of which three terrorists were sent to hell, including terrorist ringleader Sohail Azmato and terrorist ringleader Haji Gul Zarkavi. Terrorists’ hideout was also busted during the operation,” the ISPR said.

It added that arms and ammunition were recovered from the slain militants who had remained “actively involved in numerous terrorist activities in the area”.

The ISPR said locals “appreciated” the operation, adding that a sanitisation operation was under way to “eliminate any other terrorist found in the area as security forces are determined to wipe out the menace of terrorism from the country”.

Eleven alleged terrorists were killed in two IBOs in Dera Ismail Khan and North Waziris­tan on Monday and Tuesday.

Earlier this month, two militants were gunned down by security forces in an exchange of fire in North Waziristan district.

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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