Suicide bomber strikes Mohmand; 3 Levies men, one civilian killed

Mohamnd-Agency-mapAt least three personnel of the Levies Force and a civilian were killed, and three people were injured in a suicide attack in Mohmand Agency’s Ghalanai tehsil on Wednesday, sources in the political administration said.

A suicide bomber tried to enter a housing colony of the local political administration. When he was stopped in this attempt by Levies personnel, the militant blew himself up outside the central gate of the colony, the sources said.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a statement said two suicide bombers were involved in the “foiled” terror bid. The first blew himself up once spotted and challenged by security personnel at the gate of the political administration office, while the other was shot dead by the sentries at the gate.

“Security agencies had the intelligence about intrusion of suicide bombers from Afghanistan inside Mohmand agency,” the ISPR said.

Sources said three security personnel and a school teacher were killed in the blast and three others were injured, who were shifted to Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar.

A search operation was started in the area following the attack.

The incident comes barely two days after a suicide blast claimed by the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar faction of the banned Pakistan Tehreek-i-Taliban (TTP) ripped through the camp of protesting chemists in front of the Punjab Assembly in Lahore, leaving 13 people dead

In September last year, a suicide bomber targeted a mosque in Mohmand Agency’s Anbar tehsil during Friday prayers, leaving 36 people dead. That attack too was claimed by Jamaat-ul-Ahrar.

Mohmand is one of Pakistan’s seven semi-autonomous tribal districts near the Afghan border, rife with homegrown insurgents and foreign militants.

Despite heavy military presence on both sides of the border, cross-border movements of militants (in both ways) have been a major area of concern.

Local militants have fled ongoing military offensives since 2008, taking refuge across the border and attacking Pakistani military checkpoints and civilians from there.

The army launched Operation Zarb-i-Azb in June 2014 in a bid to wipe out militant bases in the tribal areas and so bring an end to the bloody insurgency that has cost thousands of civilian lives since 2004.

As a result, security in the country has since improved. Scattered attacks still take place, but they are fewer and of a lesser intensity than in previous years.

According to data from the South Asia Terrorism Portal, 457 civilians and 182 members of the security forces were killed in Pakistan from January 1 to September 11, putting 2016 on course for fewer casualties than 2015.

THE PASHTUN TIMES

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