At least six soldiers were martyred on Tuesday following an exchange of gunfire between troops and terrorists in the Asman Manza general area of South Waziristan, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) has said.
In a statement, the military’s media wing said that the soldiers had “effectively engaged” the terrorists, “resultantly four terrorists were sent to hell, while two terrorists were injured.” However, it said, during the intense exchange of fire, “six brave soldiers, having fought gallantly, embraced shahadat.”
The military said sanitization of the area was ongoing to eliminate any other terrorists found in the area. “Armed forces of Pakistan are determined to eliminate the menace of terrorism and such sacrifices of our brave soldiers further strengthen our resolve,” it added.
Local media reported that at least four soldiers, who had been critically injured in the exchange of fire, had succumbed to their injuries. However, there was no official confirmation of this.
In a statement to media, the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility the attack.
Over the past year, there has been a significant resurgence of militancy across Pakistan, particularly in the areas of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan bordering Afghanistan. Army chief Gen. Asim Munir has regretted the freedom of movement available to terrorists in the neighboring nation and called on the Afghan Taliban to ensure their soil is not used for terrorism against any other country, in accordance with the Doha Agreement. Former foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, speaking with media earlier this month, said Pakistan could target militants inside Afghanistan “as a last resort,” but stressed that it would be preferable for Kabul to take action against terrorists threatening Pakistan.