Pak forces kill 67 militants in countrywide crackdown

Islamabad: Stepping up the campaign against terrorists, Pakistani security forces killed at least 67 militants in a countrywide swoop today, taking the number of insurgents killed to 124 after the brutal Peshawar school massacre that left 148 people dead.

The forces have intensified the operation after Tuesday’s attack on an army school in Peshawar which killed 132 schoolchildren.

The forces targeted the rebels in Khyber valley when they were moving towards the Afghan border.

“Security forces ambushed the moving group at Wurmagai and Spurkot, killing 32 terrorists in exchange of fire,” army said in a statement. Three security personnel were injured.

Separately, security forces killed another 18 militants in Khyber during a cordon and search operation.

Another 10 militants were killed last night in the same tribal district.

The death toll could not be verified through independent sources as the area is out of bounds for journalists.

Elsewhere, paramilitary rangers killed four Taliban militants including their commander Abid Machar in an operation in Musharraf colony in Karachi.

A Rangers spokesman said that militants fired at the rangers and threw hand grenades which injured one solider.

Another two militants were killed by police in Lala Musa area of Gujrat district in Punjab, police said.

Also, one militant was killed in Tawai area of Ziarat district in south-western province of Balochistan by Frontier Corps (FC) soldiers, said an FC spokesman.

The security forces have launched hunt for rebels after the Peshawar attack.

Yesterday, the army said it killed 57 militants in airstrikes in the Khyber tribal region.

The security forces have killed hundreds of militants in the region but they are still far from defeated.

The militants hide in the porous and mountainous border areas and frequently cross over to Afghanistan to escape the army’s Operation Zarb-e-Azb.