13 suspected militants killed in air raids


Express May 25, 2010

PESHAWAR: At least 13 suspected Taliban militants have been killed in fresh air strikes in the Orakzai tribal region on Tuesday, security officials said.

Warplanes and helicopter gunships bombed suspected bases of Taliban insurgents in the mountains of Sanpaga in the Dabori area of Upper Orakzai Agency, officials said. Two hideouts of militants were flattened, resulting in the death of at least 13 militants, they added. Another eight insurgents were also wounded in the blitz. “Dabori, situated at a height of some 7,000 feet, is the most formidable bastion of militants in Orakzai Agency,” a local source told The Express Tribune.

The difficult terrain makes it inaccessible from ground without being noticed by militants positioned atop the mountains. However, security forces claim to have secured the Malikhel area of Dabori and clashes are ongoing for the control of the Balakhel area. Dabori shares border with Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency, while two other militant strongholds of Mamuzai and Ghalju, also known as Khanki valley, border Kurram Agency. However, sources believe that control of Dabori will give security forces an adage over militants due to its height.

Published in the Express Tribune, May 26th, 2010.

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