Mardan: 9 suspected militants held in search operation
MARDAN: As reported by The News on Thursday, security forces during a search operation arrested nine more people on suspicion of being militants or having links with them.
General Officer Commanding (GOC), Swat, Major General Ashfaq Nadeem Ahmad, also visited Katlang on Wednesday where military officials briefed him on the ongoing search operation. Maj Gen Ashfaq Nadeem praised the people of the area for their cooperation in the operation against the militants.
The operation, which military authorities had named “cordon and search operation”, was launched on Monday against suspected militants in rural areas of Mardan district. Besides Pak Army, Frontier Corps and Mardan police are also taking part in the search operation. The troops had searched various villages, including Katlang, Bakhshali and Rustam.
During the search operation, security officials said 520 people were taken into custody from Ghundo and Matta villages in Katlang town, 20 kilometers north of Mardan. The detained people, the majority of them were reported to be local villagers, have been kept at the Government High School, Shamozai, and Government Primary School Shawa Banda in Matta villages of Katlang.
Some of the detainees included government employees and retired soldiers but were released on Tuesday after overnight detention in various schools, which has been turned into temporary detention centres. The remaining villagers, including farmers, shopkeepers, drivers and daily wagers are still in their custody.
Similarly, the sources said the forces had expanded search operation to other villages of the area including Dharai Likpanai, Tazagram, Alo, Qasami and other villages of Katlang town.
Sources said the forces also set up checkpoints at the entrance and exit points of the above-mentioned villages and strictly checked the people and their national identity cards, while detaining those not having NICs.
People are confined to their houses and Katlang and other bazaars of the area. Sources said search operation would be expanded to Sakhakot in Malakand Agency, which is the stronghold of organised gangs involved in kidnapping and car-lifting. Curfew was clamped on some villages for the whole day, causing problems for the residents.
The complete article can be found at The News.