25 killed, 40 arrested in Michini operaton
PESHAWAR: Security forces on Monday disclosed that over 25 militants were killed and 40 arrested during a military operation in the restive Michini area and a huge quantity of arms and ammunitions was seized from them. Speaking at a press conference at a military base camp at Shno Ghondai area close to Mohmand Agency, the NWFP Inspector General of Police Malik Naveed said security forces had controlled the situation in maximum areas and were successfully going ahead to flush out the miscreants from the `defective` areas. He said the killed militants also included some foreigners and those arrested were expected to divulge some important information, which could lead the forces to the militants organised networks.
He said the security forces were compelled to launch the operation as the militants were bent upon disrupting the entire areas peace and were involved in many heinous crimes such as kidnapping, killing, looting.
During the operation the militants had killed one police constable and two Frontier Constabulary personnel, he said, adding that the situation in four villages in the Michini area was yet to be controlled.
The forces were avoiding targeting settled areas and had concentrated only on militant hideouts, he said, adding that the militants had taken the local people hostage for the past one year and had forcefully occupied the poors houses in order to target security forces from there.
Prior to the joint operation, the IGP said militants were fully equipped with sophisticated weapons and used to target security forces in different areas of Michini and Mathra and were heading towards Peshawar city to carry out sabotage activities.
He said curfew was relaxed in the area and local people were being provided food and other essential items in order to minimise their suffering due to the operation.
Mr Malik said after the operations completion the legal status of the 25 disputed villages of Michini will also be changed and they will be considered as settled area where law enforcement agencies will take position on regular basis to maintain law and order.
He announced that a special quota in police recruitment will be allocated to the people of the 25 villages of Michini , saying that check posts will also be established in the vast area to ensure protection to the people’s lives and properties.
The government, he said, was determined to improve the people’s standard of living and with the approval of NWFP chief minister developmental schemes will be initiated for the areas uplift.
About incentives for police, he said the government had already doubled the death compensation for the police which will be notified in a couple of days, adding that policemen in the operation area were being paid other allowances such as risk allowance, daily allowance and ration allowance.
The Peshawar Division Commissioner Arbab Shahrukh was also present on the occasion, who said that the situation in villages like Qila Shah Baig, Badi Korona and some other localities was so far controlled and efforts were being made to root out misreants from there as soon as possible.
During the operation many militant hideouts were destroyed and the remaining criminals` dens will be demolished with the forces advancement in the areas, he said, adding that the government did not want to harm innocent people, but saboteurs will not be pardoned.
The IGP appealed to the local people to extend cooperation to security forces in the countrys best interests. He said peace without people`s cooperation was impossible.
Military official Colonel Shahid briefed the media persons about the siezed arms and ammuniton.
The weapons include artillery shells, mortar shells, anti–tank rockets, 82 M mortars, various kinds of watches which were used in planting time bombs, audio cassettes and literature, including guide books for preparation of armed explosions, suicide jackets, machines for explosives preparation.
He also briefed newsmen about the chains reportedly used for tying up of the abducted people; about 20 cans full of acid used in explosives preparation, cartridges of light and heavy machine guns, different materials used in bomb explosions were also recovered.