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Pakistan gunfights kill 15 militants, two soldiers

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Author: AFPThu, 2017-03-09ID: 1489003909070421000PESHAWAR: At least 15 militants and two soldiers have been killed in two separate gunbattles in a relatively peaceful district of Pakistan just northwest of the capital Islamabad, officials said Wednesday.The shootouts come after a recent resurgence in militant violence, with 130 people killed nationwide in the month of February, ending a lull in Pakistan’s long battle against homegrown fighters.The two raids took place in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province’s Swabi district, which is just 100 km northwest Islamabad and far from the border tribal areas that have been the main battlefront over the course of the insurgency.Soldiers on Tuesday conducted a raid on a village in the district, triggering a gunfight.“During exchange of fire Capt Junaid and Sepoy Amjad embraced martyrdom,” said a military statement, adding: “Five terrorists killed during the operation.”Security forces stormed a second compound in a nearby village on Wednesday, killing 10 militants, a senior security official said.No details regarding the second shootout have yet been released, but the incident came to light after police and security forces brought 10 bullet-riddled bodies to a local hospital.“They were militants and killed during an intelligence based operation,” the senior security official said.Pakistan’s military announced the launch of a nationwide anti-terrorist operation in the wake of the violence last month.The attacks, most of which were claimed by Daesh or the Pakistani Taliban, dented optimism after the country appeared to be making strong gains in its decade-and-a-half-long war on militancy.
Main category: World

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