| 2 October 2023, Monday |

Three Pakistani soldiers killed in separate shootouts along Afghan border

During an overnight military operation against insurgent activities in the northwest along the Afghan border, two Pakistani troops and one militant were killed in a gunfight.

According to a military statement issued late Friday, security forces launched an operation in Miran Shah, North Waziristan’s largest town, “to eliminate remaining terrorists” after obtaining clear intelligence inputs regarding the presence of militants.

As forces approached the area, a group of terrorists was seen and caught, sparking an intense gunfight that resulted in the death of the army major commanding the operation and another soldier. One militant was killed, while another was seriously injured.

The army said they conducted another raid on a militant hideout in Tirah valley of Khyber district along with the border with Afghanistan where a soldier and a militant were killed early Friday.

Militant attacks on security forces in the northwest saw an increase in recent days.

On Thursday a suicide bomber targeted a security convoy in northwest Pakistan, killing nine soldiers and wounding 20 others. The attack happened in Bannu, a district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Bannu is the gateway to North Waziristan which has served for decades as a safe haven for militants until the military carried out a massive operation against militants after an attack on an army-run school in Peshawar in 2014 killed more than 150, mostly school children.

After the years-long operation, the army announced it had cleared the region of local and foreign militants. Occasional attacks have continued, however, raising concerns that the local Taliban, known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, found sanctuaries in Afghanistan and are regrouping in the area.

The Pakistani Taliban are a separate group but allies of the Afghan Taliban, who seized power in Afghanistan in 2021 as the US and NATO troops were in the final stages of their pullout.

In 2022, they ended a cease-fire with the government in Islamabad and ordered its fighters to resume attacks across the country.

Pakistan has repeatedly asked the interim Afghan government to act against “individuals and entities that threaten Pakistan” and live up to its commitments to the international community.

  • alarabiya