At least seven terrorists were killed and six others injured following an intense exchange of gunfire between militants and security personnel in Chitral district, according to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Sunday.
The military’s media wing said the incident occurred in the general area of Ursoon in Chitral on Saturday, adding troops had effectively engaged the terrorist and slain seven of them, while critically injuring another six. It said a sanitization operation was ongoing to eliminate any remaining terrorists from the area.
According to the ISPR, local residents had appreciated the security forces’ operation and expressed their full support for eliminating the menace of terrorism from the country.
Chitral has been in the crosshairs of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) over the past week, with the militants targeting Pakistani military checkposts in the area on Sept. 6 after infiltrating into the region from neighboring Afghanistan. According to an ISPR statement, four Pakistani soldiers were martyred, while 12 terrorists were slain during those clashes.
Interim Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani, on Sept. 9, claimed the Chitral terrorist attacks were an “isolated” incident and did not appear to have any authorization of Afghan authorities. However, he appeared to negate his own claims just a day later, confirming that the Foreign Office had issued a demarche to Kabul protesting against the militants’ use of Afghan soil to stage attacks inside Pakistan.
There has been a marked resurgence of terrorism across Pakistan since the TTP, last year, unilaterally ended a ceasefire it had inked with the state and urged its fighters to target security forces “wherever they may be found.” Chief of Army Staff Gen. Asim Munir has repeatedly made it clear that there would be zero tolerance for any militancy, adding terrorists must submit themselves to the writ of the state or risk eradication.