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39 militants, five officials killed in Orakzai Agency

27 March, 2010

KALAYA/HANGU: Thirty-nine militants, including foreigners, and a lieutenant colonel, along with four other security forces personnel, were killed in fierce clashes in Orakzai Agency in the wee hours of Friday, tribal and official sources said.

The sources said the clashes erupted in a sudden spurt of violence in Orakzai Agency when militants from the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) attacked the camp of security forces in Kalaya, Shna checkpoint, and bunkers of the forces in the Ferozkhel area.

“The militants staged a simultaneous attack on the three positions of security forces and occupied the Shna post,” the sources said. However, security forces, led by operational commander Lieutenant Colonel Anwar Abbas Butt, wrested the control of Shna post from the militants and in the pitched battle he, along with four other personnel, embraced martyrdom, the sources added.

Sixteen other personnel sustained injuries in the clashes, the sources added. “Lieutenant Colonel Anwar Abbas Butt of Swat Scouts, Lance Naik Ahmadullah and Frontier Corps personnel, including Taj Khan, Ubaid and Rabat Khan, fought bravely and embraced martyrdom,” an official said.

The injured soldiers included Captain Fahim, Naik Asif, Khurshid, Nisar, Awal Zar Afridi, Momi Jan, Zar Muhammad, Akramullah, Khanwar Khan, Zar Saeed, Akbar, Rashid, Hussain, Bahadar Khan and Sadat Khan. The bodies of the soldiers and wounded were later flown to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Kohat.

Tribal sources said 32 bodies of militants, including two foreigners reported to be an Arab and an Uzbek, were recovered from the scene of action. Inspector General Frontier Corps (IGFC) Major General Tariq Khan told reporters after the funeral of Lieutenant Colonel Anwar Abbas in Peshawar that a number of foreign militants, including Uzbeks, were killed in the operation. He said their bodies were lying in the area.

The sources said fighter jets and gunship helicopters destroyed four hideouts of militants in Dabori, Mamozai, Khadezai and Ghiljo areas of Orakzai in a separate action. There were reports that seven militants were killed and 10 sustained injuries in the shelling, the sources said.

Lieutenant Colonel Anwar Abbas, belonging to Gujrat district, was deputed in Hangu for the last two years, officials said. He carried out dozens of operations against the militants in Hangu and was recently transferred to Orakzai Agency.

The sources said in the last five days, security forces had killed 125 militants and wounded 50 others. Residents said the attack by an unusually large number of militants on security forces’ positions in Kalaya, Shna post and Ferozkhel was apparently a reaction to the previous day’s aerial bombardment by security forces in the Mamozai area in which 48 militants were reportedly killed.

The political administration has directed the residents of Ferozkhel and Sturikhel in lower parts of Orakzai Agency to leave the area for safer places. Orakai’s Political Agent Riaz Mahsud said that roads had been opened for displaced persons to shift to safer places. However, he said those leaving the area would have to undergo checking by security forces. The sources said the authorities had intensified checking to foil the militantsí bid to flee the area in the guise of internally-displaced persons.

The Namaz-e-Janaza of Lieutenant Colonel Anwar Abbas was offered at the Services Ground in Peshawar. Corps Commander Lieutenant General Masood Aslam and Commander of Frontier Corps (FC) Major General Tariq Khan attended the funeral. Two personnel of the FC, Taj Khan and Rabat Khan, were laid to rest in the Mian Murcha Mullagory area in Khyber Agency.


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