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Kurram District : Army officer, soldier martyred during operation

A Pakistan Army captain and a soldier were martyred in Kurram District were during an area sanitisation operation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Kurram District, the military’s media wing said Tuesday.

The ISPR statement said that Captain Basit Ali, 25, and Sepoy Hazrat Bilal, 22, were martyred in an exchange of fire with the militants.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), in a statement, said the operation was conducted after security forces had received reports of terrorists’ presence in the area.

Captain Basit belonged to Haripur district and Sepoy Bilal hailed from Orakzai tribal district.

The officials said that three other soldiers of Frontier Corps sustained injuries.

Reports said that paramilitary forces were conducting the operation in the mountainous area in the east of Parachinar to find five kidnapped workers of a cellular company.

The encounter between the security personnel and the militants occurred on Monday.

The officials said that the security forces launched the operation in the area when the bullet-riddled body of a worker was found in Zaimokhet area. The deceased worker was identified as Kashif, who belonged to Okara district of Punjab.

Kurram district police officer Tahir Iqbal told Dawn that a group of militants kidnapped the five workers of the cellular company in Zaimokhet area of central tehsil on July 6 when the workers were installing a tower in the area to launch the cellphone service.

The officials said that a militant commander who had joined the so-called Islamic State (IS) group was involved in the kidnapping of the five workers. They said the kidnappers released video footage of the captives in which they demanded ransom for their release.

A senior official dealing with the security situation in the area confirmed presence of militant groups, including IS, in central part of Kurram.

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