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Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Four suspected militants killed in NW Pakistan

One army troop also dies, while two injured in clash in North Waziristan

Four suspected militants and an army troop were killed in a clash in Pakistan’s restive North Waziristan region on Sunday, the country’s military said.

The clash — latest in a slew of gun battles — occurred during a security operation in the Spinwam area of North Waziristan, which sits near the Afghanistan border, according to a statement from the Pakistani army.

“As soon as troops cordoned the area, terrorists opened fire to flee from the area. However, all terrorists were killed by security forces. During intense exchange of fire, a Sepoy, 27 embraced shahadat (martyrdom), while two soldiers got injured,” the statement read.

Read more: Pak Army’s Lt. Nasir Khalid embraces martyrdom in IED blast in North Waziristan

There was no word on the association of the suspected terrorists, though the UN-designated terror group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a conglomerate of different militant groups in Pakistan, has long been operating in the region.

North Waziristan — once dubbed the heartland of militancy — is one of seven former semi-autonomous tribal regions in Pakistan where the army has conducted a series of operations since 2014 to eliminate the TTP.

Successive operations have pushed the TTP towards neighboring Afghanistan, and Islamabad claims the terrorist network has now set up bases across the border to attack Pakistani security forces.

The military operations also displaced over 1 million people, but most of them have returned to their homes. In 2018, the tribal agencies were given the status of districts and merged with the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Read more: UN: thousands of anti-Pakistan militants in Afghanistan

Imminent danger to Pakistan: anti-Pakistan militants in Afghanistan

A big worry for Pakistan is the presence in Afghanistan of anti-Pakistan militants, particularly linked to the TTP or Jamaat-ul-Ahrar or Lashkar-e-Islam, as well as those with the Baluchistan Liberation Army, which has taken responsibility for high-profile attacks this month in the southern Sindh province as well as in southwestern Baluchistan Province. Several Pakistan military personnel have been killed this month in southwestern Baluchistan province in battle with insurgents.


The TTP took responsibility for one of the most horrific attacks in Pakistan in 2014, when a Pakistani army school was attacked and 140 were killed. Most were students, and some were as young as 5.

Read more: Pakistan no longer a militant safe haven: PM Imran Khan

“The total number of Pakistani foreign terrorist fighters in Afghanistan, posing a threat to both countries, is estimated at between 6,000 and 6,500, most of them with TTP,” the report said.

Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk