Six killed as troops gear up to search Charsadda villages
* Forces destroy Taliban commander’s house in Darra
* Curfew in Shabqadar causing problems for people trying to migrate
GHALANAI/MINGORA: Six Taliban were killed and several injured in shelling by helicopter gunships and artillery firing as security forces geared up for an operation the villages in Charsadda district and Mohmand Agency, officials said Friday.
“Security forces are advancing towards the disputed villages (in Charsadda district and close to Mohmand tribal district) where militant dens have been set up and these areas need extensive combing,” official sources told Daily Times.
They said the disputed villages, previously part of Mohmand, were heavily “infested by the militants”.
Local residents told Daily Times that helicopter gunships shelled Kandharo area in Saafi tehsil of Mohmand, targeting a double-cabin Taliban jeep. Three Taliban were killed while two others were injured.
Curfew: The highway linking Mohmand with Peshawar is closed to all traffic, while an indefinite curfew is in place in Shabqadar. The people leaving the areas for safer places are facing problems.
“It is very difficult to move out of areas where a military operation is on the cards,” a resident of Mohmand said.
During the search operation in Rashkai area, the security forces demolished three houses and a public school, which the Taliban were using for attacks against government forces.
Taliban house: Meanwhile, a private TV channel reported that security forces demolished the house of a Taliban commander Khalid and arrested five Taliban in Darra Adam Khel. The houses of two tribesmen were also bulldozed in Jadukhel and Faroghan areas of Zarghunkhel for their alleged links to the Taliban. The security forces launched a search operation in Zarghaunkhel on Friday morning on a tip-off. According to the channel, both Khalid and his friend Tariq had claimed responsibility for plotting or carrying out 29 suicide attacks.They were believed to be hiding in Orakzai Agency.
Swat: Separately, security forces and Taliban exchanged fire in the Balugram area of Swat district, but there were no reports of casualties. The security forces are facing stiff resistance from Taliban in their advance from Kabal to Akhund Kalay. Taliban torched four snooker clubs in Usmanabad and Tahirabad areas of Swat. mukarram khan/saleem athar/daily times monitor