One policeman and one paramilitary official were also killed in exchange of fire with militants.
Seven people including a policeman and paramilitary soldier were killed in two separate incidents when security forces hit militant hideouts in the restive northwest on Saturday morning, officials said.
In the first incident, police and paramilitary soldiers raided suspected hideouts in the Mechani neighborhood of Shabqadar town. “A soldier of the Frontier Corps and a policeman embraced martyrdom in an exchange of fire with militants in Mechani neighborhood of Shabqadar Saturday morning,” said local police official Wilayat Khan. He said two militants belonging to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were also killed.
Rasheed Khan, another senior official confirmed the incident. He said the militants opened fire when the police and paramilitary troops raided their hideouts.
Spokesman of the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Ehsanullah Ehsan, claimed responsibility for the attack. “We will continue to target security forces and the police in the future too,” he said in a telephone call from an undisclosed location.
In another incident, five members of the TTP including a local commander were killed. “Five members of the TTP were killed in a raid on their hideout in Gujjar Gadi neighborhood of Matni, around 16 miles south of Peshawar,” said a senior security official. The incident was confirmed by other local intelligence sources.
The Army has been waging a major offensive against longstanding Taliban and other militant strongholds in the restive tribal areas on the Afghan border for the last six months. But a series of fresh strikes after Tuesday’s Peshawar attack, which left 149 people dead—most of them children, suggest the military is stepping up its campaign.
As the Peshawar tragedy unfolded, Army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif said the attack had renewed the forces’ determination to push for the militants’ “final elimination.”