At least two paramilitary soldiers were killed in an armed clash with militants in Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency where Operation Khyber-I has been ongoing since last Thursday.
The clash in the Sipah area of Bara was triggered by a militant attack on a check post of the Frontier Corps (FC), according to political administration officials. The militants used heavy weapons in the attack and even targeted civilian population near the check post. Two FC men were killed and as many injured in the surprise attack. The injured were driven to a military hospital in Peshawar.
Officially, there was no confirmation of the clash or casualties from the security forces. However, political administration officials said the security forces, backed by helicopter gunships, mounted a retaliatory operation against the hideouts of militants in the Shalobar, Aka Khel, Yousaf Talab and Sipah areas. Preliminary reports say one militant was killed and two were wounded.
A stray mortar shell slammed into a house in the Yousaf Talab area, killing two children. Tribesmen claimed the mortar was fired by the security forces who denied the claim and instead blamed the militants. Tribal sources said the house belonged to an Afghan refugee, Omar Gul.
As tribesmen continued to flee Bara on the fourth consecutive day on Wednesday, the FATA Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) said that it has set up registration points for the displaced families at different places.
Zia Afridi, the FDMA head for Bara, told The Express Tribune that the registration points have been established on Bhatta Thall Road at Pishtakhara, in Peshawar, at Ali Masjid area, in Jamrud, and at Khatta Pani, near Kalaya area of Orakzai Agency. Around 5,000 displaced families have been registered at these points during the last four days.
Over in North Waziristan where Operation Zarb-e-Azb has been ongoing since mid-June rockets were fired at a camp of the security forces on Wednesday.
A security official said that militants fired six rockets at the camp located in the Mada Khel area of Datta Khel tehsil at 1pm. Soon after the security forces, backed by helicopter gunships, launched an operation in the area. According to unconfirmed reports, two civilians were killed and as many injured in the cross-fire between militants and security forces.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2014.