Forces kill 21 militants in Mohmand air strikes

GHALANAI: The security forces claimed to have killed 21 militants and destroyed two suspected vehicles as clashes continued in different parts of Mohmand tribal region on Monday.Sources said that helicopter gunships pounded militant hideouts in Safi, Anbar, Pandiali and Bizai tehsils of the troubled region. An official, seeking anonymity, claimed that 21 militants were killed in the offensive.However, political administration and media cell of Frontier Corps did not issue any press note about death toll in the operation.Sources said that positions of militants were heavily bombed. Security forces also defused five landmines and arrested two suspected persons during a search operation in Anbar tehsil.The tribal people are shifting to relief camps owing to military operation in their areas. An official of the political administration said that more than 10,000 internally displaced persons had been registered at Naki and Danishkhel camps.Representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other relief organisations have reached the area to prepare contingency plans for the displaced tribal people.In Swat district, six militants were killed in exchange of fire with security forces in Sardan area on Monday.Sources said that security forces cordoned off Sardan area of Matta tehsil after receiving information that a group of militants was present there. Six militants were killed when they exchanged fire with security forces during the search operation, they said.They said that the killed militants were identified as Mohammad Ali, Iqbal Hussain, Waseem Shahid, Azizur Rehman, Alamdar and Omar Ali. “All of them belong to Charbagh. They were wanted by security forces and local administration in various cases of militancy,” they added.The bodies were later handed over to relatives for burial.Meanwhile, a policeman was injured when unidentified persons fired several rockets at a police post in Shabqadar hospital of Charsadda district on Monday.

The injured constable was identified as Habibullah. The boundary wall of the hospital was partially damaged in the attack.In Khyber Agency, bullet-riddled bodies of two former militants were found in Bara tehsil while nine other tribesmen including a Lashkar-i-Islam commander were kidnapped, sources said.They said that the bodies of Rehmatullah and Khana Gul were found in Sipah and Akkakhel areas of the tribal region on Sunday night. They were kidnapped from Shalobar on January 27 by unidentified gunmen. Nobody has so far claimed responsibility of their killing.In a related development, the activists of Lashkar-i-Islam kidnapped their former commander Ghuncha Gul along with four of his bodyguards.Mr Gul had recently parted ways with his chief Mangal Bagh. The LI activists accused him of providing information about the whereabouts of Mangal Bagh to the Americans.Mangal Bagh had narrowly escaped on December 18 last year when his base in Tirah was targeted by a drone. At least 26 of his close associates were killed in two drone strikes, carried out on Dec 17 and 18.The LI had in the first week of January killed Shala Baz, another of its important commander, in Tirah on similar charges.Meanwhile, five more tribesmen were abducted on Sunday night from different localities of Bara.Sources said that Younas and Mughal Baz were picked up from Shalobar while Shan Mohammad from Akakhel and Mohammad Jan from Sipah area. The name of the fifth kidnapped person could not be ascertained – Dawn