ISPR: 12 militants killed in TTP hideout raid

ISLAMABAD: Security forces acting on intelligence raided a hideout of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) along the border with Afghanistan, triggering an intense shootout that left 12 militants dead, the military said Wednesday.

The pre-dawn raid came amid soaring tensions in Pakistan and in the aftermath of a mosque bombing last week that killed 101 people in Peshawar. The officials blamed the blast on the proscribed group which denied involvement after initially claiming it.

The group is suspected to have a strong presence in Lakki Marwat, where they have launched multiple attacks in recent months. Overnight in the district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, security forces launched the operation after monitoring the insurgents for a week, according to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

“Terrorists were lured in by providing a vehicle for escape that was intercepted and neutralised,” it said. The military said troops also recorded a case of weapons, munition and Afghan currency.

There was no immediate comment from TTP.

The overnight operation against TTP was the first major confrontation since November, when the militant group halted a monthslong ceasefire with the government and resumed attacks on troops and police across the country.

The TTP, which maintains sanctuaries in neighbouring Afghanistan, is separate from but a close ally of the Afghan Taliban.

TTP has waged an insurgency in Pakistan in the past 15 years, seeking stricter enforcement of religious laws, the release of its members in government custody and a reduction in the military presence in areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa it has long used as its base.

Its fighters, most of whom are hiding in Afghanistan, have been emboldened since the Afghan Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021 as US and NATO troops pulled out of the country after 20 years of war.


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