Islamabad, Jan 14 (EFE).- Five soldiers and seven militants were killed in separate military operations in two Pakistani provinces, the military said on Sunday.
The media wing of the army said militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting a security forces vehicle on Saturday, followed by intense gunfire during an operation in the Buleda area of Kech district of the restive Balochistan province.
An army statement said five soldiers and three militants died in the gun battle that ensued.
The statement said a sanitization operation was being carried out to eliminate any other militants in the area.
In two separate operations, four militants were killed by security forces in the volatile Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Saturday, the ISPR said in a statement.
Two militants were killed during an intelligence-based operation in the Mir Ali area of the tribal district of North Waziristan the northwestern province.
In another joint operation conducted by the security forces and police in the general area of Kulachi of Dera Ismail Khan district, two more militants were killed.
The military claimed that weapons, ammunition, and explosives were also recovered from the slain militants.
According to the statement, locals of the area appreciated the operations and expressed their full support to eliminate the menace of terrorism.
Pakistan faced the highest number of violence-related deaths in six years, making the last year the deadliest for security forces in almost a decade, according to a report by the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) on Jan. 1.
In 2023, there was an alarming surge in violence, witnessing a 56 percent increase—a level of escalation unprecedented in the last decade.
Last year, Pakistan suffered 586 militant attacks, and only 17 percent of them were claimed by banned outfits, including Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), and the Islamic State-Khorasan. EFE