Militants and a Soldier Killed in Clash in North Waziristan, Pakistan
Five suspected militants and a military soldier were killed during a clash in northwest Pakistan on Monday, the military said.
A group of militants, according to the Pakistan Army’s media wing, attacked a military checkpoint near Mirin-Shah, the capital of North Waziristan district, which borders neighboring Afghanistan. In exchange of fireside , it added, a troop was killed and another three got injured.
“Troops effectively engaged the terrorists,” a press release from Pakistan Army’s media wing said, adding that troops subsequently launched an enquiry operation within the area.
During exchange of fireside , one soldier of Pakistan Army, Havaldar Akbar Hussain Khan age 43, embraced shahadat; while three others sustained injuries.
Five suspected terrorists were also killed in the clash, latest in a series of similar incidents in the region. North Waziristan, once dubbed the heartland of militancy, is one among seven former semi-autonomous tribal regions in Pakistan where the military has conducted a series of operations since 2014 to eliminate the Pakistani Taliban’s mother coalition, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
More than 5,000 suspected militants and over 700 soldiers are killed in aerial strikes, clashes, and landmine blasts over the past six years. The figures, however, could not be independently verified as media access to the former tribal areas is restricted.
The 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 operation has also displaced over 1,000,000 people, but the govt claims 95% of them have returned to their homes.
The areas, including North Waziristan, have recently been given the status of districts and merged with the Khyber Pakhtukhwa province.
The Pakistani army in recent weeks deployed thousands of troops across the country to help the government enforce a lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. But it had been unclear whether troops engaged therein mission were relocated from the northwestern region along the Afghan border.
Pakistan on Monday said 17 more had died from the virus over the past 24 hours. The country has thus far recorded 8,418 cases while 1,970 people have recovered. The government hasn’t said whether any of the troops enforcing the lockdown have been infected with the virus.