66 militants killed in Bannu, Swat, Waziristan
By Iftikhar A. Khan
ISLAMABAD: The army claimed that 66 militants had been killed and nine captured in different areas of Malakand, Bannu and South Waziristan on Wednesday and Thursday.
According to ISPR, four soldiers laid down their lives and 12, including an officer, suffered injuries.
Thirty-four militants were killed and three apprehended during an operation in Sara Bangal area of Frontier Region Bannu.
Helicopter gunships and artillery targeted militants’ hideouts in Janikhel. Officials claimed that the Taliban had suffered heavy casualties in the attack.
Security forces cleared Kotka Saifullah and Sara Bangal areas of militants. One civilian was killed and two others injured when terrorists fired two rockets in Bannu city.
The operation to secure Zindi Khan area continued. Curfew was relaxed from 9am to 3pm in Bannu on Thursday.
Three soldiers were killed and five injured when about 400 terrorists attacked Siplatoi and Jandola fort in South Waziristan late on Wednesday night. Twenty-two militants were killed and several injured when troops returned fire.
Security forces and militants fought pitched battles in South Waziristan and adjacent Frontier Region Jandola on Wednesday night. All routes to the troubled region have been blocked.
Helicopter gunships heavily pounded militant’s positions on Thursday.
A large number of families belonging to the Gangikhel tribe, a subsection of the Ahmadzai tribe, are reported to have migrated to Afghanistan. Dozens of families are also moving to adjacent areas in North Waziristan.
Local people said that the blockade of the main road leading to Wana, the headquarters of South Waziristan, and other link roads had resulted in suspension of transportation of goods.
In Swat, security forces are consolidating their positions in areas of Kabbal and the operation to secure the remaining areas of the town continued. Three soldiers were injured during clashes with militants in the valley.
Troops launched an operation in Ashro Kandao, Arkot Qilla, Shakardarra, Matta Triangle, Sakhra, Matta-Khararai and Sarai, in the west of Martung.
They secured Sijban area on Runial-Chuprial road. Three soldiers were injured in the operation. Ten militants were killed and six arrested during clashes in Peochar area. One soldier was injured.
In Dir, a tribal lashkar continued to engage militants in the villages of Shatkas and Ghazigae. Planes shelled militants’ hideouts in Shatkas to support the lashkar fighters who continued their offensive against the Taliban and forced them to retreat from some of their important positions.
Lashkar fighters destroyed bunkers and three hideouts of militants, including an ammunition dump, in Shatkas. One soldier lost his life when militants fired at Zohaib Post, near Lal Qilla.
Local people said that four houses and a government high school were destroyed in the attack. The houses had been occupied by the militants, but they abandoned them after an attack by the lashkar.
The shelling forced a large number of people to leave the area and move to neighbouring towns.
Three vehicles were damaged when an improvised explosive device exploded on Ambela-Daggar road in Buner. A terrorist’s house was destroyed in Gatkala. Troops secured Gat Khela and Jowar areas.
According to ISPR, repair work on the main electricity transmission line up to Mingora in Swat has been completed. Food and other items were distributed among the people stranded in the valley.