KHAR/ HANGU/ BARA: The Islamic State’s commander-designate for Pakistan, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, was killed with two others in a bomb explosion in the Toor Dara area of Tirah Valley on Thursday.
Khyber Agency officials said the militants were planting or manufacturing an improvised explosive device (IED) when it went off, killing the three men on the spot.
While the security forces claimed one of them was IS commander Hafiz Saeed, there was no confirmation from the militant group.
Saeed hailed from the Aurakzai Agency and was among five leading Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan commanders who announced their disassociation from the banned outfit last October. Later, they swore allegiance to IS under the leadership of Shahidullah Shahid.
The IS high-command through a message circulated by Shahid had declared Saeed as the IS chief for Pakistan. However, Shahid is believed to be the real chief with Saeed serving as his dummy.
Ten militants killed
In Orakzai Agency, 10 terrorists were killed and another six were arrested in a pre-dawn crackdown.
In the first-ever ground operation launched in the Sheikhan area, a transit route between Tirah Valley and North Waziristan, the security forces went on the offensive after encountering resistance, officials said.
At least 12 hideouts of the militants were destroyed and a huge quantity of weapons and ammunition was seized.
Security forces successfully repulsed a militant attack on a Pakistani border post in Bajaur Agency. An insider confirmed the attack at the post in Ghakhi, claiming that militants from the Afghan Kunar province attacked with heavy weapons. The soldiers responded to the gunfire forcing the militants to flee.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2015.