Peshawar, Pakistan: At least 15 militants and two soldiers have been killed in two separate gun battles in a relatively peaceful district of Pakistan just northwest of the capital, Islamabad, officials said on Wednesday.
The shoot-outs come after a recent resurgence in militant violence, with 130 people killed nationwide in the month of February, ending a lull in Pakistan’s long battle against home-grown Islamist fighters.
The two raids took place in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province’s Swabi district, which is just 100 kilometres northwest Islamabad and far from the border tribal areas that have been the main battlefront over the course of the insurgency.
Soldiers on Tuesday conducted a raid on a village in the district, triggering a gunfight.
“During exchange of fire Capt Junaid and Sepoy Amjad embraced martyrdom,” said a military statement, adding: “Five terrorists [were] killed during the operation.”
Security forces stormed a second compound in a nearby village on Wednesday, killing 10 militants, a senior security official said.
No details regarding the second shoot-out have yet been released, but the incident came to light after police and security forces brought 10 bullet riddled bodies to a local hospital.
“They were militants and killed during an intelligence based operation,” the senior security official told AFP.
Pakistan’s military announced the launch of a nationwide anti-terrorist operation in the wake of the violence last month.
The attacks, most of which were claimed by Daesh or the Pakistani Taliban, dented optimism after the country appeared to be making strong gains in its decade-and-a-half-long war on militancy.