SHABQADAR / LANDI KOTAL: Security forces staved off an attack by Taliban suicide bombers on a training centre of the Frontier Constabulary in Shabqadar district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Friday. One paramilitary soldier was killed in the assault claimed by a breakaway faction of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, which also carried out a string of deadly suicide bombings last month. Elsewhere border guards fought off a cross-border attack by hordes of Taliban terrorists on a border post in Khyber Agency. Two soldiers died fighting the attackers who also suffered multiple fatalities.
“A bid by the suicide bombers to attack the Frontier Constabulary Training Centre in Shabqadar was effectively foiled. The attempt was thwarted following intelligence-based information and both the suicide bombers were killed,” said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a statement.
According to FC’s district officer Ali Sher, two suicide bombers – donning uniform of the paramilitary force – entered the British-era complex at Michni on Mohmand-Peshawar border during Fajr prayers.
The bombers first opened fire at the main gate and then tried to enter the training camp, Suhail Khalid, the DPO of Charsadda, of which Shabqadar is a tehsil, told AFP. “They were intercepted by the FC men on duty near the barracks and one of them was taken down immediately. The other attacker, however, managed to detonate his suicide jacket, killing one FC man, Naeemullah, on the spot while injuring two other soldiers,” Ali Sher told The Express Tribune.
He said the dead and the injured were shifted first to a hospital in Shabqadar and later to Peshawar. “Both the injured soldiers are stable now,” he said. “Two hand grenades and SMGs were also recovered from the bombers.”
After the attack, security forces launched a search operation in the area. The FC spokesperson claimed that the force had an encounter with suspected terrorists in the Mosal Kor in Michni which left six terrorists dead. The Afghanistan-based Jamaatul Ahrar terrorist group later claimed responsibility for the attack.
Airstrike against LeI chief
Separately, military warplanes pounded hideouts of terrorist in the Rajgal valley of Khyber Agency, decimating four hideouts and killing more than 10 terrorists.
The air raids were carried out on the basis of intelligence reports about the presence of outlawed Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI) chief Mangal Bagh in a village, according to the ISPR. More than 10 terrorist were killed in the airstrikes but Bagh reportedly escaped unhurt.
The airstrikes took place after at least two Pakistani security personnel manning a checkpoint in Khyber Agency were killed in cross-border attack by terrorist based in Afghanistan. “Terrorists from across the Afghanistan border attempted physical attack on the Frontier Constabulary post in Khyber Agency,” the ISPR said. Six attackers were also killed in the exchange of fire.
(WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM AFP)