40 militants, six troops killed: FC repulses attack on fort
GHALANAI, Jan 11: At least 40 militants and six soldiers were killed in a fierce clash in Mohmand Agency on Saturday night.
According to officials, heavily armed militants stormed a fort of Mohmand Rifles and two checkpoints in Lakaro subdivision near the Afghan border.
The Frontier Corps (FC) said in a statement issued in Peshawar on Sunday that more than 600 militants, mostly foreigners, had come from the direction of the border and attacked the forces at Mamad Gatt.
“FC troops fired heavy artillery shells and rockets and repulsed the attack”. The statement said that 40 miscreants were confirmed dead.
However, tribal sources said 18 militants had been killed and seven others injured in the clash which continued for several hours.
The FC claimed that some militants had surrendered. It also said that seven soldiers had been wounded.
According to sources, militants from Waziristan also took part in the attack.
Officials said it was one of the biggest militant attack since the security forces launched an operation in the region.
The sources said that five soldiers were missing, but an official in Peshawar denied the report.
The building of a school near the fort was damaged.
The injured soldiers were evacuated by helicopters and taken to Peshawar.
The soldiers killed in the clash include Mohammad Jan, Noor Rehman, Yosuf, Akbar Ali and Zahidullah.
Planes bombed militants’ positions in the area on Sunday, but no casualty was reported.
Agencies add: A military official said the militants attacked the FC camp at about 2am with mortars and rockets and then used small arms to fire on a nearby checkpoint.
The attackers were eventually driven off, but scattered skirmishes continued, he said.
The official said the bulk of the militants had crossed over from Afghanistan and joined their Pakistani allies.
The military said in a statement that “severe fighting continued through the night”.