Army strikes kill 37 militants in Orakzai, Pakistan
Pakistan army is in involved in an intense fighting with Taliban and Al Qaeda militants in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Afghan and British forces say 100 militants were killed in Afghanistan's Helmand province. Pakistani troops backed by helicopter gunships and artillery killed at least 24 militants with links to Al-Qaeda in a tribal region near the Afghan border in one incident. The clashes occurred on Sunday in the Bajaur region, where Pakistani security forces launched a major offensive against Islamic militants in August. There is report of another incident.
Gunship helicopters pounded two training centres of militants in Mamozai area of the Upper Orakzai Agency on Sunday, killing 37 militants and causing partial damage to the buildings.
“At least 37 militants, including a commander and 12 would-be suicide bombers, were killed in the attack on their hideouts,” an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) spokesman said. Sources said three gunship helicopters appeared in the sky at 2:10 pm and started shelling on the training centres in Mamozai area. The shelling continued for half an hour. The centres in
Arghanju and Jabba in the past used to be seminaries run by Maulana Abdul Majeed and Maulana Maqbool, where students were imparted Islamic education. But the militants occupied them last year and, after expelling the seminary administrators and students, used them as their base camps for training and imprisonment purposes.
Reportedly, the militants, who had occupied the Madrassas in Mamozai area, had links with Baitullah Mehsud, the chief of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.The sources said that two gunship helicopters again arrived at 4:25 pm and shelled the hideouts of militants in Jabba and Kotani areas where the house of a local commander Abdus Salam was destroyed. It was reported that the house was being used as a camp by the militants.
Taliban commander Noor Jamal rejected the claim of the ISPR, saying that no militant was killed in the shelling carried out by the gunship helicopters. “No one was killed in the attack and only the wall of a Madrassa was partially damaged,” he told The News from an undisclosed location.
Meanwhile, about 32 victims of the suicide attack on the Orakzai tribal Jirga were laid to rest on Sunday as the death toll rose to 110. Meanwhile, 125 seriously injured persons are under treatment in different hospitals of the Orakzai Agency, Hangu and Kohat, while some of them have been shifted to hospitals in Peshawar. The tribesmen have vowed to take revenge from those who carried out the deadly attack. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the brutal suicide attack at the Jirga.
In another incident 20 militants, three Lashkar men die in Bajaur
Twenty militants and three Lashkar men were killed and several others injured when fierce fighting erupted between volunteers of the armed tribal force and the Taliban in Charmang area of Nawagai Tehsil in Khar subdivision of the violence-hit Bajaur Agency on Sunday.
Sources said that firing between the militants positioned on the hilltops and armed men of the tribal Lashkar continued throughout the day in Charmang, Kotki and Chinar areas of Nawagai Tehsil. Both the parties targeted each other’s positions with heavy weapons in these areas that left 20 militants and three Lashkar men dead and many others injured.
Gunship helicopters and jets also blitzed Rashkai and Loisam areas of Khar subdivision and Charmang, Kotki and Chinar areas of Nawagai Tehsil, destroying several hideouts of militants. Also, the security forces pounded positions of militants in these areas with artillery shells.
On the other hand, the Lashkar torched seven houses of militants in different areas of Charmang, one of the strongholds of the militants, in Nawagai Tehsil. In retaliation, the militants also set on fire three houses of Lashkar elders, destroying them completely.
However, the names of the affected elders and reports about the casualties could not be ascertained. Meanwhile, a Jirga held in Charmang decided to expedite action against the militants and miscreants. Besides elders and Maliks, thousands of Lashkar men also attended the Jirga.
The Jirga resolved that the tribesmen would extend full support to the security forces in the ongoing operation against the militants. They vowed that the tribal armed force would attack those found involved in militancy and other criminal activities.
Tribal Lashkars in Mamond Tehsil and Mandal area of Salarzai subdivision also continued operation against the militants in their respective areas. They destroyed several houses of suspected militants by setting them ablaze.