KHAR, Jan 31: Security forces gained control of Taliban’s headquarters in the Sewai area of Bajaur Agency on Sunday after intense shelling and clashes in which at least 20 militants, an important ‘commander’ among them, were killed.
Artillery, jets and helicopter gunships provided cover when troops advanced on Sewai, Jani Shah, Azarnau, Sapari, Khaza and Damadola areas of Mamond tehsil.
Sources said that two personnel were also injured in fighting that started when troops, accompanied by Mamond Lashkar volunteers, moved towards Damadola, a stronghold of TTP ‘commander’ Maulvi Faqir Mohammad. Two children were among the dead, they added. Security forces set up bunkers and checkpoints and hoisted national flag in the areas.
AFP adds: The army action was stepped up after a suicide attack killed at least 16 people in the area on Saturday. Two security personnel were killed by another bomb on Sunday.
“Fighter jets and helicopter gunships are bombing militant hideouts in Mamond and Salarzai,” administrative official Jameel Khan said.