PESHAWAR: At least 34 militants were killed on Monday in clashes with security forces in Upper Orakzai Agency, security sources said. Two military officers were also killed in the operation.
Security sources in Peshawar told The Express Tribune that a militant attack on a security check post in the Khadezai area of Upper Orakzai killed two army officers and injured eight personnel, including an officer.
The slain officers were identified as Captain Dr Faraz Malik and Lieutenant Adnan Bashir, according to the sources.
They said that in retaliation, at least 18 militants were killed.
The area where the clash took place is about 30 kilometres west of the Upper Orakzai Agency headquarters Ghalju and is adjacent to the last militant stronghold of Mamozai.
Sources, however, said that the officers were killed in an attack on a security forces convoy in the Khadezai area.
Tribal sources said that a convoy was ambushed by militants on Mamozai Road in the afternoon, resulting in the death of two officers.
They further said that gunship helicopters pounded militant hideouts in the area, destroying at least four explosive-laden vehicles.
Meanwhile, at least 10 militants were killed in attacks on security check posts in the Armang and Zakhtun localities of the Dabori area of Upper Orakzai Agency.
Security forces claimed to have killed at least 120 militants and injuring 40 in Orakzai Agency during the past one week. They also claimed to have regained control of Akhund Kot, Chapar and Dapar Killay areas.
In another incident, at least six militants were killed in clashes with security forces in the Marghan area of Central Kurram Agency.
Security sources said that gunship helicopters targeted militant hideouts, killing at least six militants and destroying two hideouts.
Security forces launched an operation in Orakzai Agency in March last year, while the Kurram operation was launched this summer. However, this past week, security forces have increased their advance in both agencies.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2011.