By Fauzee Khan Mohmand
Four of the five Arabs are Saudi nationals – Ahmed, Ali, Mohammad and Obaidullah – and one Libyan national, Abdullah. The Afghan national has been identified as Habibullah. – Dawn photo
GHALANAI: At least 13 militants were killed in a clash with security forces following arrest of five burqa-clad Arabs, one Afghan national and a local man in Mohmand Agency on Tuesday.
Four of the five Arabs are Saudi nationals – Ahmed, Ali, Mohammad and Obaidullah – and one Libyan national, Abdullah. The Afghan national has been identified as Habibullah and the local man as Shad Ali. They were detained at the Khapakh checkpost. The Afghan was living in Chakdara area of Lower Dir.
When troops were taking the detained men to Ghalanai, about 60 militants attacked them in an area between Ziyari Kando and Nasapai. The clash continued for more than two hours, an official spokesman said.
Security forces shelled militants’ positions from Ghalanai with mortars and cannons. Thirteen terrorists were killed and the others escaped. Two vehicles of militants were destroyed, the spokesman said.
Security personnel brought the body of one militant to the Ghalanai FC camp; the other bodies were taken away by the attackers. The administration sealed all entry points to the tribal region and beefed up security to apprehend the fleeing militants.
Troops also launched a search operation in Mian Mandi Bazaar.
A jirga of tribal elders will be held in Ghalanai on Wednesday to discuss the presence of militants, including foreigners, in the area.
The spokesman said the detained militants had been hiding in Kareer Qandaharo and Kung Khwayzai for several days and they had attacked the Khapakh post.
‘They came to Pakistan via Afghanistan which is financing them,’ he alleged.
He said SMGs, hand-grenades, Kalashnikovs, passports and other important documents had been seized from them and their vehicle had been impounded.