5 soldiers martyred in IED blast in KP’s Kurram district: ISPR

Published June 21, 2024
A combination photo of Pakistan Army soldiers martyred in an IED blast in Kurram district on Friday. — ISPR
A combination photo of Pakistan Army soldiers martyred in an IED blast in Kurram district on Friday. — ISPR

Five Pakistan Army soldiers were martyred in a blast from an improvised explosive device (IED) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Kurram district on Friday, according to the military’s media wing.

A press release from the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said the IED exploded on a vehicle of the security forces in the district’s general area of Sadda.

The ISPR said 33-year-old Havildar Aqeel Ahmed from Okara, 30-year-old Lance Naik Muhammad Tafeer from Poonch, 24-year-old Sepoy Anosh Rufun from Attock, 26-year-old Sepoy Muhammad Azam Khan from Haripur and 29-year-old Sepoy Haroon William from Islamabad “made the ultimate sacrifice and embraced martyrdom”.

It added that sanitisation of the area was being carried out to eliminate any terrorists present in the area. The ISPR said the perpetrators of the “heinous act” would be brought to justice.

“Security forces of Pakistan are determined to eliminate the menace of terrorism and such sacrifices of our brave soldiers further strengthen our resolve.”

President Asif Ali Zardari strongly condemned the attack and lauded the martyrs.

A statement from the President House said he appreciated the patriotism and sense of duty of the martyrs and praised the role of the security forces in the elimination of terrorism.

Expressing determination to root out terrorism, President Zardari said operations by law enforcement agencies would continue.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the nation saluted the martyrs.

Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi also condemned the attack and paid tribute to the martyrs.

“The great sacrifices of martyrs will always be remembered. The martyred officers sacrificed themselves today for the peaceful tomorrow of the nation. The example of the eternal sacrifices of security forces is not found in history,” said a statement from the interior ministry on X.

Naqvi said the nation was committed to the complete elimination of the scourge of terrorism.

National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq said the martyrs were the nation’s heroes.

On Sunday, at least four members of a family in the district were killed due to an IED blast.

Last month, four security personnel were injured in a cross-border attack on checkpoints in the district, sources said, adding that 12 alleged attackers were reportedly killed in retaliation.

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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