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20 militants, six soldiers killed in Khyber Agency

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Said Nazir Afridi

BARA: Twenty militants and six personnel of security forces were killed in a simultaneous suicide and armed attack on the Jhansi Camp of the Frontier Corps (FC) in Bara Tehsil, Khyber Agency, early Wednesday, official and local sources said.

At least, 20 FC men were injured in the two-hour-long clash. They were shifted to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Peshawar where condition of most of them was stated to be out of danger.

“We have taken nine bodies of the militants in our custody. The remaining bodies were taken away by the militants with them,” an officer of the FC told this scribe on condition of anonymity.

The sources said that hundreds of militants, armed with light and heavy weapons, besieged and attacked the Jhansi FC Camp located at a distance of two kilometers from the house of Mangal Bagh, the head of the non-Taliban militant group Lashkar-i-Islam (LI) in Speen Qabar village at 1 am.

Though security forces repulsed the attack, the sources said, a suicide bomber drove an explosive-laden pickup toward the main gate of the camp. The personnel deployed at the gate opened fire on the suicide bomber and as a result the vehicle exploded a few meters away from them. The explosion killed six security personnel and left dozens of others injured, official sources said.

The security personnel killed in the attack included five from the Mehsud Scouts of the FC and one from Pakistan Army. The slain soldiers were identified as Havaldar Noor Mast, Naik Farman, Naik Bashir Khan, Sepoy Ismail, Sepoy Humayun and Sepoy Fakhr-e-Alam.

Sources said the fight between the two sides lasted for two hours in which 20 militants were killed and another 29 were injured. The fleeing militants, the sources said, took away most of their slain and wounded colleagues with them.

The sources said the casualties would have been higher had the suicide bomber succeeded in driving the explosives-laden vehicle into the Jhansi Camp. The sources said a government boys’ primary school and the nearby houses were damaged due to the blast.

Following the attack, security forces carried out a search operation in Jhansi area and arrested three suspected militants and demolished the houses of three others. The sources said that security forces also raided a private hospital in Dogra area of Bara Tehsil but none of the injured militants was found there.

Official sources said militants belonging to Lashkar-i-Islam and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan jointly carried out the attack. Talking to reporters on phone from an unidentified location, spokesman for Lashkar-e-Islam Haji Zar Khan rejected the official claims about the militants’ casualties. He said that only one suicide bomber was killed and two militants were injured in the attack.

APP adds: Security forces repulsed the militants’ attack on FC Camp at Jhansi area here on Wednesday, killing 25 extremists in retaliation while five FC men embraced Shahadat and 15 were injured in the clash, FC sources said.

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Written by rohitkumarsviews

April 1, 2010 at 8:07 am

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