40 killed, 25 injured in Orakzai fighting

Express May 28, 2010

PESHAWAR: At least 40 militants were killed and 25 others sustained injuries in clashes with security forces in Upper Orakzai tribal region on Thursday, security officials said.

The officials said that at least 25 militants were killed when fighter jets pounded militant hideouts in the Kasha area of Upper Orakzai tribal region.  Separately, militant hideouts were also bombed in the Dabori, Mamuzai and Ghalju areas of Upper Orakzai killing 15 militants, injuring 25 and destroying five militant hideouts. Local sources told The Express Tribune that militants were using local residences as their hideouts.

10 militants were killed and a security personnel identified as Shahab Akhtar died in a clash in the Dabori area.

In another incident, two militants and a policeman were killed in clashes in Hangu district, which shares a border with Orakzai Agency, on Thursday, District Police Officer (DPO) Hangu Abdur Rashid Khan said.

The incident occurred in the Mamu Khwr area of Tull tehsil in Hangu district when militants opened fire at a police mobile. The official added that arms and ammunition were recovered from the possession of the militants.

Operations were also launched in Zagari Shinwari area when armed forces attacked using artillery fire in the Ghalju and Mamuzi areas. Reports said four insurgents were killed in the assault.

The Orakzai operation, which is in its 68th day, has pushed more than 45,000 to leave for safer accommodation in camps, rented houses and with relatives in Kohat, Hangu and other areas of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, to avoid being caught in the conflict.

According to sources, around 3000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) belonging to Sturikhel area of Lower Orakzai have returned to their homes, after the military said to have cleared the area from militants.

Another operation is likely to be launching in Fort Lockhart in the Samana range. The militants in Orakzai are likely to face a fierce attack from all sides in the coming days.

Published in the Express Tribune, May 28th, 2010.