Several Jamaatul Ahrar militants killed, hideouts destroyed; Afghan foreign ministry summons Pakistani ambassador, lodges protest, says their soldiers also killed in strikes; Pak envoy says terror attacks emanating from Afghanistan
LANDIKOTAL/RAWALPINDI: Several militants affiliated with Jamaatul Ahrar were killed when the security forces bombed their hideouts in the Rena area of Afghanistan situated near the Pakistan border on the second consecutive day on Saturday.
Reports received from the area indicated that the Pakistani troops successfully targeted the hideouts of Jamaatul Ahrar across the border and inflicted huge casualties on them.
Our correspondent said 15 militants, including a commander, were killed while their four hideouts were destroyed in an operation by the security forces in the Pak-Afghan border area.
Officials sources said heavy weapons and mortar shells were used to destroy the Jamaatul Ahrar fighters’ sanctuaries in Rena Parchao. The sources said that some of the hideouts of militants in Mohmand Agency adjacent to Khyber Agency were also targeted.
The border crossing at Torkham and Ghulam Khan were kept closed and curfew was imposed near the border. More than 500 shops and private offices also remained closed.
The security forces sources said Adil Bacha, deputy commander of Jamaatul Ahrar, was also among the dead. On the other hand, families from the border area of Rena Parchao have started moving to safer areas in Loey Shalman.
Assistant Political Agent of Landikotal Niaz Muhammad confirmed the migration of the residents and said that around eight to 10 families have been displaced. However, independent sources said that around 1,500 individuals have been displaced from Rena Parchao and shifted to other places.
Pakistan Customs spokesman at the Torkham border, Mehmoodul Hasan, told The News that after the closure of Torkham customs offices, they also closed the border crossing points at Kharlachi, Borki and Teri Mangal in Kurram Agency. He said that due to closure of the border, a number of heavy trucks loaded with fresh fruit and vegetables have also been stranded on the Pak-Afghan border at various spots.
Torkham passport official Shamsul Islam said all the government offices including the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), National Logistics Cell, Pakistan Customs, Federal Investigation Agency and other offices at Torkham remained closed on the second consecutive day on Saturday. He said that only Torkham border administration offices were open on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Pakistani Ambassador to Kabul Abrar Hussain was summoned to Afghan Foreign Office on Saturday and a protest was lodged over what Kabul says shelling from Pakistan into district Lal Pur in Nagarhar province and in district Sarkano of Kunar province.
Afghanistan’s foreign ministry summoned the Pakistani Ambassador in Kabul where Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai asked for an explanation but also gave his condolences regarding the recent suicide attacks in Pakistan.
Abrar Hussain said all of the recent attacks in Pakistan were found to have been coordinated by terrorists based in Afghanistan. According to sources from the embassy, the Afghan foreign office claimed in the meeting that Pakistan was carrying out shelling across the Pak-Afghan border.
The Afghan foreign office further claimed that some Afghan soldiers had also been killed in these strikes.
Ambassador Abrar Hussain, in response, informed the Afghan foreign office that Pakistan had witnessed eight blasts in the past five days. He said all of these attacks were traced back to terrorist elements based on the Afghan soil.
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