At least seven security personnel were injured in a landmine blast in Khyber Agency’s Tirah Valley on Wednesday. The blast came a day after the Pakistan Army launched Operation Khyber-III in Rajgal Valley to reinforce deployment of troops along the Pak-Afghan border to effectively check movement of terrorists.
Army mounts Khyber-III to secure Pak-Afghan border
The operation was launched in the valley tucked deep in high mountains with all-weather passes in Khyber Agency, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement. Large dumps of arms and ammunition and terrorist hideouts were precisely targeted in air raids and ground operations in the treacherous terrain, it added. Nine dens of terrorists were decimated.
The military said 14 terrorists were killed and 11 wounded in the blitzkrieg. However, it would not say which groups the terrorists belonged to. The Mangal Bagh Afridi-led Lashkar-e-Islam religious extremist group and some factions of the proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan had a strong presence in the region before the previous operations were launched.
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The operation will reduce cross-border movement of terrorists, according to the ISPR. The offensive is a part of Pakistan’s efforts to ensure effective border management to check infiltration of terrorists, who shuttle between Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan.
The military has successfully routed terrorists from the tribal areas, including North Waziristan Agency, where local and foreign terrorists once held sway. But terrorists still maintain some hideouts close to the porous border. Security officials said the operation in Rajgal Valley would squeeze the space available to fleeing terrorists in the border region.\