Peshawar, Feb 8: Pakistan’s security forces gunned down 12 Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants on Wednesday in the country’s restive northwest, police said, as the government stepped up its offensive against outlawed groups following a spike in terror attacks.
The terrorists’ vehicle was targeted during the operation conducted in the Lakki Marwat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, bordering South Waziristan, officials from the Counter Terrorism Department said.
The militants of the Azahruddin group of the TTP were intercepted by the CTD when they were fleeing towards the adjoining Tank district, and in the ensuing gun battle, 12 of them were gunned down.
Weapons, ammunition, and Afghan currency were recovered from the possession of those killed, they said.
The operation, based on prior intelligence, comes amidst the government’s recent decision to step up operations against terror groups like the TTP.
Pakistan has been hit by a wave of terrorism, mostly in the country’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, but also in Balochistan and the Punjab town of Mianwali, which borders the restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
On January 30, a Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up during the afternoon prayers at a well-guarded mosque in Peshawar, killing 101 people and injuring more than 200 others.
The Azahruddin group of the TTP has been active in the area against the police and has conducted numerous attacks against law enforcers. In December 2022, it killed six police officials in the district.
The TTP, set up as an umbrella group of several militant outfits in 2007, called off a ceasefire with the federal government and ordered its militants to stage terrorist attacks across the country.
The group, which is believed to be close to Al-Qaeda, has been blamed for several deadly attacks across Pakistan, including an attack on army headquarters in 2009, assaults on military bases, and the 2008 bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad.
In 2014, the Pakistani Taliban stormed the Army Public School (APS) in the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing at least 150 people, including 131 students. The attack sent shockwaves across the world and was widely condemned.–(PTI)