Major among four security men martyred in Dir blast
By Syed Zahid Jan
UPPER DIR: An army major and three other security personnel were martyred when a suicide bomber blew himself up during an intelligence-based operationin Sheratkalvillage of Sultankhel Darra, Upper Dir, on Wednesday.
According to security officials and local administration, the incident took place when security personnel raided a house where militants were hiding. As they entered the house, the militants opened hre and one of them wearing a suicide jacket blew himself up, resuldng in the death of Major Ali Salman, Hawaldar Ghulam Nazir, Hawaldar Akhtar and Levies soldier Abdul Karim. Four other security personnel were injured.
According to security of ficials, a militant was killed and anotherarrested during an exchange of fire. They said they had received information that militants, including suicide bombers, had entered from Afghanistan and were hiding in a house in Sheratkal, some 45km south of Dir town.
An ISPR official confirmed the casualties inflicted on security forces.
`An officer and three soldiers sacrificed their lives while foiling a devastating terrorist activity. Maj Ali Salman of [an] intelligence agency along with his team conducted an IBO against a terrorist hideout in [Sheratkal in Upper Dir],` said a press release issued by the InterServices Public Relations. It also confirmed the killing of a suicide bomber in the exchange of fire and the arrest of another terrorist.
Deputy Commissioner Usman Mehsud said the operation was con-ducted on reports that a group of militants had entered the area from Afghanistan through Chitral or Lower Dir.
He said that one of the dead personnel belonged to Dir Levies who was deployed with security personnel for the operation.
According to the ISPR press release, the funeral prayers for Major Ali Salman were held at the Lahore garrison.
`Although he was my only son, I am proud of him and I am proud of the Pakistan Army,` said father of Major Ali Salman after the last rites of the martyred officer.
Sporting a white beard and appearing calm and composed despite the martyrdom of his only son, he told reporters that he himself was aretired army officer and his son did what he could not have done.
He said his son chose to join the army on his own.
`He was carrying out these operations for the country. I am proud of him...I am proud of the Pakistan Army and I am proud of this nation which produces such sons,` he said.
`The death of a martyr is the life of the nation,` he said.
Our Correspondent from Charasadda adds: Slain Hawaldar Akhtar Ali Khan was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard in Tangi area of Charsadda district. His funeral was attended by army officers and people of the area. A contingent of army personnel presented a salute on his grave. He left two children and a wife to mourn his death.