At least 19 militants of the banned outfits Ansarul Islam (AI) and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were killed on the second day of fresh clashes in the troubled Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency on Tuesday.
“Six fighters of the AI and 13 militants of TTP were killed and seven were injured in a battle to gain control of the Darra Stanai check-post,” an official of the political administration said.
AI spokesman Sadat Afridi claimed that their fighters captured the check-post from the TTP after a heavy gunfight. However, the retreating TTP had planted explosives in the Darra Stanai check-post which went off injuring several AI fighters, he said.
He said that in the afternoon the TTP militants attacked the Bhutan check-post of the AI which was repulsed. However, six fighters of AI were killed and 16 injured in the fight.
The AI spokesman claimed securing their positions and capturing a strategically important but small check-post of Rocket Sanghar. Afridi said AI has handed over four bodies of the TTP to their relatives in Kajay area of the valley.
Till the filing of the report the clashes between the two groups continued on Rocket Sanghar and Darra Stanai check-posts.
House torched by militants in Bara
According to an official of the political administration dozens of Lashkar-e-Islam militants torched the house of Kitab Khan of Zakh Khel tribe in the Gud Malang area of the Bara tehsil. No human loss was reported as the residents of the house have shifted to Peshawar due to the ongoing military operation in the area.
Jirga of Bara tribesman
The political agent of the Khyber Agency Mutahir Zaib in a meeting with the Afridi tribe’s elders said the government is working for the repatriation of the Bara tribesmen living in camps due to the ongoing operation in the area. Zaid said that the tribesmen would be repatriated to Shalobar area soon.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 13th, 2013.