10 troops, 50 militants killed in Khyber, Orakzai


A suicide bombing carried out by Pakistani Taliban against another militant outfit killed 23 people and injured 30 others, while 10 soldiers and around 50 militants were reported dead in clashes between security forces and extremists in Khyber and Orakzai agencies on Friday.
A suicide bomber targeted Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) militants while they were coming out of a mosque after offering Friday prayers, killing 23 people and injuring 30 others. The incident occurred in the Nakai Mehrbaan area of Tirah Valley, Khyber Agency. Tribal sources said almost all the victims belonged to the LI militant group headed by Mangal Bagh. Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Dera Adamkhel chapter claimed responsibility of the attack. Three other blasts also rattled the area, but so far no human casualties or property losses have been reported.
Earlier, dozens of militants ambushed a contingent of security forces advancing through the Lakar Baba area of Bazaar Zakhakhel, which is considered the gateway to Tirah Valley. The area is dominated by Zawdeen clan of the Zakhakhel Afridi tribe. The surprise and powerful attack claimed the lives of 10 soldiers and injured three others, sources said. The retaliatory offensive against the militants continued for a couple of hours, and security forces claimed to have killed 23 militants besides injuring several others. An important commander of Lashkar-e-Islam was also reportedly killed in the operation.
Separately, 23 militants were killed and 12 were injured in Upper Orakzai Agency when security forces pounded militant hideouts with the help of bomber jets, a military official said.
It is relevant to mention that a high-level meeting held recently at Governor’s House, Peshawar decided to intensify military action against militants in Khyber Agency. Although high ranking authorities claimed that the TTP and LI had agreed on a truce, the two militant groups remain hostile to each other in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the adjoining tribal belt.