Landmine blast in Mohmand leaves 3 dead, several injured

Peace committee members and security officials were reaching the Pak-Afghan border when their vehicle hit the mines.

Iftikhar Firdous July 27, 2011

Three people including one security personnel and two peace committee members were killed in mine explosions when security forces launched the third phase of the operation Brekhna in Tehsil Bayzai of Mohmand Agency.

At least twelve others were injured.

"We have started the third phase of the military operation Brekhna in the Bayzai Tehsil of Mohmand Agecy," confirmed a security official in Peshawar.

Sources said that the security forces were moving along with the peace committee and Levis personnel in the Manzaree Cheena area when the members of the peace committee hit a land mine in which two members were killed.

In the second explosion, one more security person was killed.

Sources said that there were at least five mine explosions in which at least five security personnel and seven members of the peace committee were injured.

"Although we are facing no resistance from the militants," said APA Upper Mohmand, Maqsood Khan while speaking to The Express Tribune "It's the mines that they left behind that are causing some problem. However, the sweeping of the area is underway," he added.

Speaking about the advancement of the security forces, Maqsood said that the security forces were assisted well by the local peace keeping parties and Levis personnel.

"We have consolidated our position in the Atmarkhel area in Tehsil Bayzai, on the Pak-Afghan Border," he said.

Tehsil Bayzai is considered to be one of the main gateways for militants to enter into Pakistan's Territory from Afghanistan.

Bordering the tumultuous province of Kunar, Afghanistan - Bayzai is traditionally considered a safe haven for militants because of its rugged terrain and high peaks.

Despite the fact that after military operations when the security forces claimed to have cleared almost 80% of Mohmand Agency, Bayzai was still termed "unclear".

Earlier this month the Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in his visit to the area had emphasised the need for local Pakhtun tribes to take full responsibility to ensure peace in Mohmand Agency.

(Read: Tribes should take effective control to ensure peace, says Kayani)

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