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Security forces take control of three more Rajgal heights

By Ibrahim Shinwari 2017-07-24
LANDI KOTAL: Security forces on Sunday made furtheradvancesintothetough and hostile terrain of Rajgal Valley and surrounding areas near Afghan border after seizing control of three strategically located heights.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in astatement that the Khyber IV operation was successfully going on in accordance with the plan and security forces had managed to take control of Speenkai top, Saparay top and Sattar Kalay in the cover of heavy artillery and aerial bombing.

Local sources said that the three mountain tops were situated close to the Nangrahar province of Afghanistan and served as an important entry and exit point for different militant groups.

The ISPR said that the unexpected advance by the security forces into these regions took militants by surprise and they hurriedly retreated back to Afghanistan without putting up any significant resistance.

The statement said that a number of hideouts and training camps of militants were destroyed and a large quantity of arms and ammunition, left behind by the fleeing militants, had been seized.

It said that while securityforces made tactful advance into the rugged terrain, military helicopters and heavy artillery pounded militant hideouts to pre-empt any possible reprisal.

Sources said that the capture of Speenkai Sar, Saparay Sar and Sattar Kalay were a major breakthrough for the army after they established its base on Brekh Muhammad Kandaw on Saturday.

The Kukikhel tribesmen, who lived in these areas before the Taliban andLashkar-i-Islam (LI) took control in 2011, said the region also served as an important trade route for locals as they used the unfrequented routes for cross-border trade of narcotics. They said that trading activities, albeit illegal, were severed after they were evicted from their homes both by the Taliban and LI activists in 2011.

Meanwhile, a Frontier Corps man was killed and another injured in a blast in Bara on Sunday.Officials said that the explosive device planted near a security post in the Speen Qabar area of Akkakhel went off early in the morning.

The blast left Sepoy Niaz Afridi dead while his colleague SaqibUddininjured.

The blast was the second of its type in a week in Bara.

Earlier unidentified people had fixed an explosive device to a water tanker of the FC in Malakdin Khel area which injured two men of the paramilitary force.