Deceased terrorists include top Uzbek commander, according to military.
Pakistani forces killed 27 suspected militants in airstrikes and a ground operation on Thursday hours after a roadside bomb killed three soldiers, officials said.
The government and military have reaffirmed their determination to defeat the Taliban following the school massacre in Peshawar on Tuesday. Airstrikes on Thursday killed 17 militants in Khyber Agency, where the Taliban and other Islamist fighters have taken refuge.
“Seventeen terrorists were killed in effective airstrikes this evening. Killed terrorists include one of the top Uzbek terrorist commanders Islam-ud-Din,” the military said in a statement. In an earlier ground action in Bajaur, another tribal area on the Afghan border, security forces killed 10 militants.
“In a ground action by security forces at Malak Shaga Nullah near Warwandu Mella and Hossai Nullah 10 terrorists were killed, two were seriously injured while 6-8 managed to escape,” said a senior security official. He said two security personnel were wounded and others were chasing the fleeing militants.
The operation came hours after a roadside bomb killed three paramilitary soldiers in Bajaur. “Three paramilitary soldiers were killed when they walked over an IED [impoverished explosive device] planted on a roadside in Damadola area of Bajaur tribal district,” said local official Suhail Khan. He said the troops were returning to their camp after a routine patrol when they stumbled over the device. Abdul Haseeb Khan, another senior official, confirmed the incident.
Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but the Pakistani Taliban, and its splinter factions, have regularly targeted security forces in the northwest.