The military in Pakistan announced that its troops conducted a raid on a militant hideout in a former stronghold of the local Taliban in the country’s northwest, near the Afghan border. This operation led to a fierce shootout resulting in the deaths of eight militants.
In an overnight statement, the military stated that the intelligence-based operation took place on Sunday in the South Waziristan district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and that troops seized weapons and ammunition from the hideout.
No further detail was given about the militants’ identities. But blame usually falls on the Pakistani Taliban, known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP, a separate group but allied with the Afghan Taliban, who seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021 as US and NATO troops were in the final stages of their pullout from the country after 20 years of war.
Many TTP leaders and fighters have found sanctuaries in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover, which also emboldened the Pakistani Taliban who also often target troops across the country. This has caused a spike in tensions between the two countries with Pakistan demanding the Taliban administration stop the TTP from using Afghan soil to launch attacks.
This month, authorities in Pakistan started a crackdown on migrants living in the country illegally. Though Pakistani officials say it affects all foreigners residing illegally in the country, the crackdown has mostly affected the millions of Afghans living in Pakistan without documents. So far, more than 400,000 Afghans have returned to their home country for fear of arrest.
The Taliban-led administration in Afghanistan has denounced the forcible deportation and the United Nations warned it could lead to severe human rights violations.