Four volunteers of a tribal peace militia were killed and as many security personnel were wounded in a battle on Saturday to wrest control of a Bajaur Agency village from Taliban insurgents.
Security forces claim that 28 militants were killed and 15 captured in the battle for Batwar area of Salarzai sub-division, Bajaur Agency. The claim, however, could not be verified independently.
Hundreds of insurgents crossed over from northeastern Afghanistan on Friday and took over the Batwar area, forcing residents to flee. From there they fired rocket-propelled grenades and mortar shells at check posts of security forces.
On Saturday, security personnel and volunteers of the Salarzai peace militia, moved to recapture the area, according to a security official. Helicopter gunships provided them aerial cover.
“After a fierce battle, security personnel and volunteers wrested back control of Batwar area. Taliban militants fled to their hideouts across the border in Afghanistan,” he added.
Four volunteers – identified as Zerullah, Ihsanullah, Imran Khan and Wali – were killed and four security men identified as Mehar Gul, Kifayat, Muhammad Arif and Sher Bhadur, were wounded in the battle, the official confirmed.
The bodies were shifted to the Agency Headquarters Hospital (AHQ) in Khar.
On Friday, two volunteers of the Salarzai peace militia were killed while five people, including civilians, were injured when the militants launched a cross-border incursion.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2012.
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