PESHAWAR / SWABI: Five terrorists — including three top commanders of the proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) — were killed in an intelligence-based operation (IBO) in the Swabi district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday.
Two servicemen — a captain and a sepoy — also died in the raid which, according to the military’s media wing, took place in the Malikabad area of Gadoon Amazai. Two policemen were also critically injured in the operation. Gadoon Amazai shares borders with Malakand and Hazara divisions of K-P.
“The dead terrorists were planning to target educational institutions and judicial complexes,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement. And the raid was part of the ongoing countrywide offensive, Radd-ul-Fasaad.
After receiving intelligence about the presence of terrorists from different areas of K-P in a compound, army troops, aided by policemen from Mardan, Nowshera and Swabi districts and the counterterrorism force, mounted the operation in the morning, a police official told The Express Tribune.
“They stormed the compound located in Takheel village of Utla, taking down the five terrorists holed up inside,” added a local journalist. Two servicemen also died in the IBO, while two policemen were critically wounded and were subsequently shifted to a hospital in Peshawar. The ISPR identified three of the dead terrorists as Majid, alias Khalid, from the Swabi chapter of TTP, Yousaf, alias Chota Khalid, and Jawad, while the remaining two terrorists are said to be Afghan nationals. Majid had been wanted by the police in several cases of murder, ransom, and attacks on police and military. He carried a bounty of Rs 2 million on his head.
The fallen servicemen have been identified as Captain Juniad and Jawan Safdar.
After the IBO, police and security forces cordoned off the area and mounted a search operation as military helicopters flew overhead until the area was cleared. No arrests were made in the search operation, though.
Several operations had been conducted in Malikabad area in the past. And some key TTP commanders – including Maulana Shafi Akbar, a member of the Mullah Fazlullah-led TTP Shura in Malakand – had been killed in these raids. Police had also been attacked umpteen times in the region.
Top TTP commander Adnan Rashid also belonged to the region. Currently, he is the chief of the Ansarul Aseer (Helpers of Prisoners), the TTP unit tasked to free arrested terrorists.
The funeral prayers for the fallen servicemen – Shaheed Captain Junaid and Shaheed Sepoy Amjad – were offered at Peshawar Garrison. Chief of General Staff (CGS) Lt Gen Bilal Akbar, Peshawar’s Corps Commander Lt Gen Nazir Ahmed Butt and other civil and military officials were in attendance. The bodies will be flown to their native towns where they will be buried with full military honour.
Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa said the sacrifices of the martyrs would not go to waste. “Terrorists will be brought to their end and held accountable for their Fasaad (mischiefs),” he said in a statement.
The IBO took place two days after security forces repulsed a massive cross-border attack by terrorists sheltering in Afghanistan. Five servicemen went down defending their three border posts against hundreds of marauding terrorists in Mohmand Agency. Fifteen attackers were also killed in the battle.
Peshawar’s corps commander visited the operational areas of Suran Valley, in Mohmand Agency, and interacted with troops who valiantly repulsed the cross-border attack. Lt Gen Butt appreciated the high morale of troops and lauded their bravery and courage in the line of duty.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 8th, 2017.