Two children were killed in South Waziristan’s Zinghara area on Wednesday during a gun battle between terrorists and security forces that also left two soldiers injured, according to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
The military’s media wing claimed that eight terrorists were slain in the same operation, adding that it had been launched on an intelligence tip-off from the area. The clash had included a gun battle and mortar fire between security forces and terrorists, the ISPR added.
However, local media reports from the region alleged that the children died due to a drone strike targeting suspected militants in a marketplace of South Waziristan. This could not be independently verified, with local administration saying investigations into the incident were underway.
Pakistan is currently in the midst of a terror resurgence triggered by the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan voiding a ceasefire agreement and vowing to target law enforcement personnel nationwide. Since the agreement collapsed in November 2022, the militant group has ramped up terrorist strikes, particularly in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces. After several high-profile attacks, including on a mosque at Peshawar Police Lines and the Karachi Police Office, the country’s civil and military leadership vowed to eradicate terrorism “with no exception” using intelligence-based operations.
Earlier this week, the Defense Ministry informed the Election Commission of Pakistan that the Army would not be able to provide security during upcoming elections in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa due to the prevailing security situation, adding that protection of the borders and the country’s national security remained the Army’s first priority.