11 killed in central Kurram in fifth day of operation
PESHAWAR: At least 11 suspected militants were killed and six injured in a military operation in central Kurram tribal region on Friday. The forces had launched an operation in the region on Monday to clear the area off militants. Sources said that on Friday, security forces cleared the areas of Spair Kat, Pungi and Krutt killing 11 alleged militants, while one security official was injured in the clashes.
Officials said that three militant hideouts were also destroyed during the operation, claiming that at least 50 militants have been killed in the operation so far.
“We have injured over 100 militants. Eight soldiers have also been killed. The Taliban are on the run and we are marching ahead,” a security official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
“Resistance by the militants against the military is very limited,” said Shahab Ali Shah, a local government official. Struck by conflict, 5,000 families have left their homes for safer places.
Officials said that earlier three bodies of militants were recovered from the Marghan Darra area of central Kurram, where at least six militants were killed in clashes with security forces on Thursday.
Kurram Agency is one of Pakistan’s oldest tribal agencies and was set up in the 1890s by the British. It shares borders with Khost, Paktia and Nangarhar provinces of Afghanistan.
Kurram comprises three sub-divisions of Upper, central and Lower Kurram with around 58 per cent of its population being Sunni and 42 per cent Shia. The agency has fallen victim to sectarian and militant strife since 2007, because of which several roads had been closed, including the Thal-Parachinar Road, disconnecting the region from the rest of the country.
In February, negotiations led to the opening of the Thall-Parachinar road. The agreement, however, failed after Shia passengers travelling in a bus from Baggan area of Lower Kurram were kidnapped on March 25.