WANA: Eighteen people, eight of them Pakistan Army soldiers and 10 militants, were killed and 16 others injured in fighting between security forces and militants in the remote mountainous Ghatsar area of Tiarza subdivision in South Waziristan Agency on Wednesday.
Military officials said dozens of militants attacked security checkpoints located in the mountains in Tiarza on Tuesday night, which led to heavy fighting.“The militants attacked security checkpoints with heavy weapons on Tuesday night. The soldiers retaliated and engaged the militants till Wednesday morning. Additional troops were moved to the area while gunship helicopters started targeting positions of the militants in the morning,” a military official said.
He said eight soldiers had lost their lives while eight others suffered injuries in the overnight clashes. Military officials also said 10 militants were killed and eight others injured in the fighting. On the other hand, the injured soldiers had been airlifted and admitted to a military hospital in Dera Ismail Khan.
They said the area was now in control of security forces and the militants had been pushed to their hideouts in the mountains.Some security officials, however, said the fighting was still going on, in which gunship helicopters were reported to be pounding positions of the militants.
They said the military was using long-range heavy artillery guns for targeting the hideouts of the militants in the mountains.Ihsanullah Ihsan, a spokesman for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed responsibility for the attack.
An official of the political administration based in Wana, the headquarters of South Waziristan, confirmed the latest clash in Tiarza Tehsil and termed it a “serious blow” to peace initiatives.