ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani soldier and a militant were killed in two separate incidents of violence in Pakistan’s troubled northwest and southwest, the Pakistani military said on Friday, adding two injured militants were also captured in the one of the encounters.
In the first incident, a fire exchange took place between militants and security forces in Mir Ali area of the North Waziristan district, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military’s media wing.
Pakistani troops “effectively engaged” the militants, but the intense exchange of fire left Sepoy Irshad Ullah dead.
“Sanitization of the area is being carried out to eliminate any terrorists found in the area,” the ISPR said in a statement.
In the second incident in the country’s southwestern Balochistan province, an intelligence-based operation (IBO) had been initiated on Thursday to intercept a group of militants operating in the south of Sibi district, according to the ISPR.
The militants had been targeting civilians in the area besides harassment of coal mine owners.
“Based on credible information, multiple ambushes had been laid along different routes in the area frequented by terrorists for last two days. Resultantly, a party of three Terrorists was intercepted while moving toward their hideout,” the ISPR said separately.
“On being blocked, they opened fire onto security forces. During ensuing heavy exchange of fire, one terrorist has been killed while two others have been injured, a cache of arms and ammunition has also been recovered.”
Pakistan’s restive northwest, which borders Afghanistan, has long been plagued by violence meted out by the Pakistani Taliban, or the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The TTP is a separate group but shares a common lineage and ideals with the Afghan Taliban.
Balochistan has been a site of a low-level separatist insurgency for the past two decades, where locals demand a larger share of the province’s mineral resources.