Conflicts & War

At least 6 soldiers, 4 alleged militants killed in Pakistan military operation

Islamabad, Aug 22 (EFE).- At least six soldiers and four alleged insurgents were killed on Tuesday in northern Pakistan during a military operation against a rebel group, at a time when armed attacks have been on the rise in the country, especially in the tribal areas.

The clash took place in the tribal district of South Waziristan in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, when the soldiers attacked a hideout of the rebels, killing four “terrorists” and injuring another 2, according to a press statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations, the military’s media wing.

The statement added that six soldiers also died in the ensuing intense gunfight, while troops remained in the area to “eliminate any other terrorists found in the area.”

The northwestern tribal belt of Pakistan, which includes North and South Waziristan districts among others, had been a stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban before the authorities launched a massive military offensive in 2014.

Although the military claims that the region has been cleared of insurgents, attacks on security outposts and exchanges of fire have increased in recent years, especially since the Taliban seized power in neighboring Afghanistan in August 2021.

Many of these attacks have been claimed by the main Taliban group in Pakistan, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which had announced the resumption of armed activity on Nov. 28, 2022 after three months of failed peace negotiations with Islamabad.

The TTP is an umbrella of several armed tribal groups established in 2007, that seeks to impose an Islamic state in Pakistan and is linked to the Afghan Taliban, having pledged loyalty to the more powerful Islamist group that rose from Kandahar.

In response to the deteriorating security situation, the Pakistani government in April announced a new large-scale anti-insurgency military operation, similar to those it had launched in 2014 and 2017 killing thousands of alleged terrorists but also displacing thousands of people from the affected regions. EFE


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