Security forces claim to have killed at least six militants during a cross-border attack on Pakistani check posts in Chitral district on Wednesday.
The police and local residents have confirmed the firing incident but they were not sure if any casualties had occurred.
The crossfire took place within the limits of Arandu Police Station in southern Chitral – a district which shares borders with the Nuristan and Kunar provinces of Afghanistan.
“The incident took place at around 9:00 am, when Taliban militants attacked Langurbat check post with mortars,” said an Arandu police officer, adding that security forces returned fire, and the exchange continued for around five to six hours. Three security personnel were also injured in the attack, officials said.
Surprisingly, District Coordination Officer Chitral Rehmatullah Wazir expressed ignorance about any cross-
border raid to have taken place in the district. He said he was not in a position to confirm the incident as access to information was limited owing to the remote location and mountainous terrain of the district.
A local resident requesting anonymity said that this attack started at around 9.00am, when around 150 rockets were fired on Pakistani check posts along the Pak-Afghan border. The local added that rockets targeted Langurbat, Akori and other check posts down to Arandu at the southern-most tip of this district. This invited a prompt reaction from the Pakistani side.
He said that in the aftermath of this attack, the Chitral-Arandu Road remained closed from Domail to Arandu for more than four hours, as security forces cordoned off the area. He also claimed that security personnel took a suspected woman into custody from near the Kavti check post. However, there was no official confirmation of this.
In August last year, about 35 security personnel were killed during a cross-border raid on Pakistani check posts by Taliban militants who were based in Kunar.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2012.
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