KOHAT/ LANDI KOTAL, March 4: A Taliban commander was killed along with his accomplice during an operation by security forces near the Frontier Region of Kohat on Friday, official sources said.They added that 13 other suspected militants were also arrested and a huge cache of arms and ammunition was recovered in the operation in Kamal Khel area of Bilitang. Both the slain militants were believed to be expert in targeted killings and preparing suicide attack vehicles.
The military operation was prompted by the suicide blast in Hangu district and increasing attacks on army and police vans, the sources said.
The slain commander, Samiullah, was later identified as a member of TTP, Darra Adam Khel, while his accomplice Hujtaba was a resident of Mian Khel area of Kohat. Their dead bodies were handed over to their relatives after autopsy.
Preliminary investigations revealed that Samiullah was involved in bomb blasts at sensitive places across the country, attacks on security convoys and targeted killings. Hujtaba was an expert in preparing explosive-laden vehicles and improvised explosive devices.
Meanwhile, two tribesmen were kidnapped from Kohat-Hangu highway near Ustarzai police station along with their car on Friday night.
The tribesmen, Saeedullah and Wali Muhammad, were coming from Zargari area of tribal Orakzai Agency when they were picked up by unidentified men. Later, their car was found abandoned at some distance from the crime scene.
Tribesmen from Orakzai Agency and Marai area adjacent to Kohat have been carrying out tit for tat kidnappings for the last one year.
In Landi Kotal, suspected militants on Friday morning attacked three more oil tankers with explosives at Torkham border, officials said.
They said that a time device fitted to one of the Nato tankers exploded with a big bang at around 6.30am. The explosion caused a huge fire in the tanker, which also engulfed two tankers parked nearby.
Local sources said that while the transporters managed to pull out other vehicles parked at the site of the explosion, the local administration made no efforts to extinguish the fire. They said that the fire was extinguished only when all the fuel inside the tankers was burnt out and the vehicles destroyed.