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6 soldiers martyred in exchange of fire with militants in North Waziristan: ISPR

Six Pakistan Army personnel were killed in an exchange of fire with militants in the Dir Duni area of North Waziristan district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Thursday, according to the army’s media affairs department.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) claimed in a statement that an exchange of fire occurred on May 4 (today) between terrorists and Pakistani army personnel.

“Own troops effectively engaged the terrorists’ location, and three terrorists were sent to hell while injuring another two,” according to an ISPR statement.

Six soldiers, however, were killed during the “intense exchange of fire.” The deceased were named Havaldar Saleem Khan, 36, Naik Javed Iqbal, 37, Sepoy Nazir Khan, 26, Sepoy Hazrat Bilal, 25, Sepoy Syed Rajab Hussain, and 22-year-old Sepoy Bismillah Jan.

“The area is being sanitized in order to eliminate any terrorists found there.” [Pakistan’s] security forces are determined to eliminate the threat of terrorism, and such sacrifices by our brave soldiers boost our commitment,” the ISPR added.

The incident comes amid an increase in terrorist activity across the country, particularly in KP and Balochistan, since the proscribed militant group Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan brokered a ceasefire with the government in November.

ISPR Director General Maj Gen Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry stated in his first press briefing last month that at least 293 people were killed and 521 were injured in 436 terrorist attacks in the previous year.

In KP, 192 people were killed in 219 terror incidents, while 80 people were killed in 206 Balochistan incidents, 14 people in five Punjab assaults, and seven in six Sindh terrorism incidents.

He said that the army and law enforcement authorities carried out 8,269 intelligence-based operations in the previous year, capturing 1,378 suspected terrorists and killing 157.

According to the DG ISPR, 137 security personnel have been killed and 117 have been injured in anti-terror operations this year.

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