Four fighters killed near Afghan border, Says the Pakistani Military

Pakistani soldiers patrol next to a newly fenced border fencing along with Afghan’s Paktika province border in Angoor Adda in Pakistan’s South Waziristan tribal agency on October 18, 2017. The Pakistan military vowed on October 18 a new border fence and hundreds of forts would help curb militancy, as it showcased efforts aimed at sealing the rugged border with Afghanistan long crossed at will by insurgents. / AFP PHOTO / AAMIR QURESHI

Pakistani security forces have killed four armed fighters, including a highly sought individual, near the northwestern border with Afghanistan, the military announced on Sunday. Pakistani forces traded gunfire with the fighters during an “intelligence-based operation” in the Khaisoor area of North Waziristan district, according to a military press release. The troops killed four fighters, including one “high-value target” identified by the single name “Ibrahim”.

Troops found a cache of weapons, ammunition and explosives during the raid, the military statement said, and are continuing to search surrounding areas for fighters in hiding.

“The security forces of Pakistan are determined to wipe out the menace of terrorism from the country,” said the military statement.

North Waziristan long functioned as a safe haven for fighters until the military rooted them out following an attack on an army-run school in Peshawar in 2014 that killed more than 150 people, mostly schoolchildren.

The army announced after the years-long operation that it had cleared the region of fighters, but attacks persist sporadically, raising concerns that the local Taliban, known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has found refuge in Afghanistan and is rebuilding there.

The Pakistani Taliban are a separate group but allies of the Afghan Taliban, which seized power in Afghanistan in 2021 as the US and NATO troops were in the final stages of their pullout after 20 years of war.

“The security forces of Pakistan are determined to wipe out the menace of terrorism from the country,” said the military statement.