NOWSHERA: The police on Sunday claimed to have killed two commanders of the outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) during a search operation in Azakhel in Nowshera district.
Talking to reporters, District Police Officer, Nowshera Mohammad Hussain said the police had been tipped off that Matiullah and his brother Latifullah aligned with the Qari Shakeel group of the TTP were present in Azakhel village.
He said the police, Elite Force and other law-enforcing agencies launched a joint operation to arrest the militants. “They opened fire on the cops near a house during the search,” the district police officer said.
Mohammad Hussain said an exchange of fire took place between the cops and the two militants that continued for over an hour. “We found the bodies of the slain militants after the clash,” he maintained.
The official said a Kalashnikov rifle, three hand-grenades and one pistol were recovered from the slain militants who belonged to Ekkaghund tehsil in Mohmand Agency.
He said the two brothers were wanted by the police in over 40 cases for attacks on the police, destruction of schools and bridges. He said that nine cases had been registered against the two TTP commanders at the Sro Killay Police Station alone in Shabqadar tehsil in Charsadda district for killing innocent people in bomb blasts.
The DPO said the slain militants were living in Nowshera in the guise of brick-kiln workers and were planning to carry out some sabotage activity. He said Matiullah carried a bounty of Rs2.5 million.
He said bodies of the slain militants were handed over to their relatives for burial after the autopsy at the District Headquarters Hospital in Nowshera. Meanwhile, sources said the two militant commanders had been allegedly tasked to eliminate Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information Mian Iftikhar Hussain.
The sources said that Matiullah was a good marksman and highly trained. They said that he had been living in Nowshera for the last nine months. It was also learnt that Matiullah was close confidant of Abdul Wali, the TTP head in Mohmand Agency.