PESHAWAR: At least five militants were killed and six others injured late on Saturday in a clash between security forces and militants in the Akakhel area of Bara Agency. One security personnel was also injured. This information could not be independently verified as journalists have limited access to the tribal agency. In a separate incident, a woman and two children died as a mortar shell fired from an undisclosed location hit a house in Akakhel. Two others were also injured in the incident.
The clash between militants and security forces comes as Pakistan’s military continue with their intelligence-driven operation ‘Khyber-1’, aimed at targetting militant hideouts in areas under Mangal Bagh-led group’s control in Tirah and Bara.
The latest operation was launched amidst Zarb-i-Azb, a full-fledged military operation being conducted by the army against Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other militants in the North Waziristan tribal region.
Khyber is among Pakistan’s seven semi-autonomous tribal districts near the Afghan border, rife with homegrown insurgents and foreign militants. These are also home to religious extremist organisations including Al Qaeda.
The plains of Bara hold strategic significance for militant groups as they connect the agency to the outskirts of Peshawar. The area was being used by militants to put pressure on the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s capital. Police and military posts in and around Peshawar have repeatedly came under attack.