Khar: 20 militants killed in fighting along border
KHAR: At least 20 militants and a soldier were killed on Sunday, the third day of fighting between militants from the Kunar province of Afghanistan and Pakistani security forces in the border area of Batwar in Salarzai tehsil of Bajaur tribal region. Seven militants, four security personnel and two members of Salarzai Qaumi Lashkar were injured. According to local officials, the militants had entered the mountainous area of Batwar and used heavy weapons to target houses of rival tribal elders and posts of ‘peace committees’ and security forces.
“The security forces and volunteers of the Salarzai Lashkar fired back with artillery and mortars. Helicopter gunships also shelled suspected positions of militants.
“Twenty militants, including some of their leaders, were killed, while four personnel of security forces and two volunteers were injured in the fighting,” an official told Dawn.
According to independent sources, a soldier and two volunteers of the lashkar were killed.
Local people said dozens of militants who had been pushed into Afghan territory after Saturday’s action by security personnel remained in hiding near the border for launching another attack.
“The militants have given us a tough time and the battle has continued for 48 hours,” Darvish Khan, a member of a peace committee, said.
Official sources said security forces had taken over control of the area.
“Movement of security personnel and the lashkar towards the border area in Salarzai continues and the region will soon be cleared of militants,” they said.
AP adds: An official, Jahangir Azam Wazir, said four soldiers, six militiamen and 38 militants had been killed during the attacks on Friday and Saturday.