|Afghan-based militants storm Bajaur villages|
13 July 2012
KHAR: Twelve militants and two volunteers of the pro-government Mamond Qaumi Lashkar were killed and four soldiers sustained injuries when the Pakistani Taliban based in Afghanistan attacked the border villages in Mamond Tehsil in Bajaur Agency on Thursday, tribal and official sources said.
The sources said around 150 militants, having sanctuaries in Kunar province of Afghanistan, attacked Barkatkot and Kitkot villages, located some 60 kilometres away in the northwest of Bajaur Agency headquarters, Khar, early in the day.
The tribal sources said security forces and the local armed volunteers repulsed the attack. Up to 12 militants were killed and several others sustained injuries in the exchange of fire.The local sources said two local members of the Lashkar were also killed and six others, including four security forces personnel, were injured in the clash. There were also reports that several villagers went missing after the incident.
The villagers said the attack was sudden and severe as the militants started firing rockets and mortars at houses in Barkatkot and Kitkot villages. However, they claimed that due to retaliation of security forces and the Lashkar, the militants retreated to the Afghan side of the border.
A reinforcement of the troops, along with the Bajaur Levies Force, was sent to the villages to strengthen the position of security forces, the sources said. Later, gunship helicopters of security forces carried out shelling on the suspected locations of militants in the border areas of Bajaur Agency, the sources said.
A search operation was also conducted in the area that had come under attack by the militants.Meanwhile, enraged local tribesmen vowed to target the militants in Afghanistan to avenge the brazen cross-border attacks.
“The Mamond Lashkar will target the militants in Afghanistan as assaults on the innocent villagers in Bajaur Agency will not be tolerated,” an angry tribal elder warned.The Afghanistan-based Pakistani militants have been attacking border villages after they were ousted from the Bajaur Agency and Malakand Division in the wake of military operations. The TTP hasn’t yet claimed responsibility for the Bajaur attack.
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