Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Gunships kill 20 militants in Khyber Agency

Helicopter gunships struck four militant hideouts in the Khyber Pass region on Monday, killing 20 insurgents, a spokesman for the Frontier Corps said.The attacks in Tirah valley follow a number of militant attacks in recent months on convoys transporting military equipment, fuel and food to Afghanistan.Monday’s attacks targeted Lashkar-e-Islam insurgents.The group, headed by Mangal Bagh, has no links with the Taliban, according to government and security officials, Reuters reported. “We got credible information that Mangal Bagh’s men were assembled there and were probably planning some attacks, so we attacked them,” the spokesman said.Security forces have been conducting sporadic assaults in the region in a bid to secure the vital transport link for foreign troops in Afghanistan.Making ground: Also on Monday, security forces said 11 Taliban had been killed in Dir and Swat in the ongoing search and clearance operations in the region. “Local lashkars killed 10 terrorists during search operations in Karodara, Shakoh and Chopra Kandao,” ISPR said, adding that another terrorist had been killed at Langar village near Khawzakhela, APP reported.Security forces apprehended four suspects and recovered arms and ammunition during search operations at Chur Banda. Six suspects were also held in operations at Awishah.Change of heart: According to the ISPR, security forces conducted a search operation at Pashmal near Kalam and apprehended wanted terrorist commander Kabir. Also, two terrorists voluntarily surrendered to security forces at Fizaghat. Separately, seven terrorists belonging to the Safi group turned themselves in to the civil administration. At least three militants were killed while five others were injured during a clash with the Qaumi Lashkar in Upper Dir.Separately, NWFP Minister Bashir Ahmed Bilor said that 200 children who had been brainwashed to conduct suicide attacks had been recovered from Malakand, a private TV channel reported. agencies

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