PESHAWAR: At least 30 militants were killed in clashes with security forces in two separate incidents in Orakzai Agency on Thursday, security sources claimed.
The first clash took place in Dapar area, close to Upper Tehsil headquarters Ghalju, when security forces attempted to reclaim a mountaintop used by militants to launch rocket attacks in the area.
At least 22 militants were killed and 10 others were injured in the fierce clash, which according to security sources lasted about four hours.
On Thursday, security forces, backed by armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and tanks, advanced towards Dapar mountaintop. Security sources also claimed that six injured militants were captured during the operation and that troops had successfully taken over the mountaintop after the clash.
Dapar mountaintop was being strategically used by militants to launch rocket attacks on Ghalju and Shanawari fort, sources added. The security forces had been pounding militant hideouts on the mountaintop with heavy artillery from Ghalju and Shanwari fort while gunship helicopters also assisted in the operation, sources added.
Separately, at least eight militants were killed in another clash with security forces in the Khadezai area. Two security personnel, identified as Rasul Khan and Qaiser were also injured while a vehicle belonging to militants was also destroyed during the clash. Security forces launched an operation in Orakzai Agency in March last year and had claimed to clear Lower Orakzai agency after a month of the operation, following which Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) had also returned to their homes. However, Mamozai area of the upper Orakzai agency has yet to be cleared from militants.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 18th, 2011.