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Pakistan: 46 militants killed in Tirah suicide attacks


BARA, (The News): Forty-six militants, including an Uzbek commander, were killed in twin suicide attacks on the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the headquarters of the Tirah-based Ansarul Islam (AI), tribal and official sources said on Tuesday.

The sources said that when the militants of TTP entered the main office of the AI in Bagh area, a suicide attacker blew himself up on Monday. Another suicide attack, the sources said, was carried when the TTP militants moved into the ammunition depots inside the headquarters of the AI.

The sources said 46 militants, including Uzbek commander Abu Islam, were killed and a dozen others injured in the two attacks planned by the AI.

The slain militants, including some commanders of the TTP, belonged to different areas of the country. Sources in the AI said the two suicide attacks were carried out by commander Abdul Ghafar and Kashmir Khan. However, due to poor communication system it could not be verified from the TTP.

Meanwhile, the TTP and Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) occupied the Maidan area, the stronghold of pro-government Ansarul Islam (AI), in Tirah Valley on Tuesday, tribal sources said. The sources said that the LI took over control of Shalobar and Zakhakhel areas after facing light resistance from the rival AI.

The fighters of LI torched two dozen houses belonging to the commanders of dismantled AI and hoisted its flag in the two areas. Earlier, Malikdinkhel, Qambarkhel, Adamkhel and Bagh, the headquarters of AI, were captured by the TTP on Monday.

Talking to reporters from an undisclosed location, the deputy head of AI, Ezatullah, said that his organisation was intact and would fight from Zakhakhel and Orakzai Agency to defeat the invaders in Maidan. He asked the displaced people to avoid registration in camps which, he said, was insulting, saying that the AI volunteers would make all possible efforts for their restoration and return.

Thousands of people, including children, women and elderly people, reached Kurram and Orakzai agencies along with their belongings after travelling for miles on feet in hilly areas.

However, they faced a shortage of transport and self-imposed hike in fare by transporters. “We were charged Rs1,000 extra above the routine fare while coming from Sadda to Peshawar,” said Abdullah Jan. He said that some families had to stay for night in the open in the two tribal agencies due to lack of transport facility.

However, the internally displaced persons who reached Dabori and Mishti areas of Orakzai Agency appreciated the wholehearted support extended by the local people.

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