Mountain top of strategic value cleared near Afghan border


Army establishes posts at over 12,000 feet mountain; First phase of Operation Khyber-4 completed
Tariq Saeed


As the Pakistan Army led Operation Khyber-4 was progressing and the security forces are making substantial advancements, the troops on Friday night cleared 12,000 feet high mountain top in Rajgal area in troubled Tiraah Valley of Khyber Agency near Pak-Afghan border.
In the security forces action several militants were reported killed and their hideouts destroyed. That also marked the completion of the first phase of the Operation Khyber-4 that was launched a week back against the elements challenging the writ of the state since long.
“Every inch of Pakistan will be peaceful, no one can beat resilient Pakistan.” Tweeted the Director General ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor who also announced the completion of the first phase of the Operation. According to reports the security forces including the commandos of Special Services Group have cleared Brekh Mohammad Kandao top from the militants and took control of the area. The security forces also set up security posts on the top. The ISPR said that the terrorists had their hideouts in the area, which were also destroyed.
“Operation continues with major achievement last night when troops including SSG successfully cleared the highest and craggiest mountain top Brekh Muhammad Kandao near Pak-Afghan border. Many terrorists killed, few fled to Afghanistan. Terrorists hide out dismantled, cache of IEDs, arms and ammunition recovered. Having cleared the top, the forces have established posts on over 12000 feet high feature riddled with thick forestation. This mountain top was being used as main observation point and its base as transit / storage point. Terrorists gave stiff resistance but couldn’t sustain the determination of the troops.
The mountain top was planned to be cleared little later as per initial plan but with high tempo operation it has been cleared well ahead of planned timings”. the Inter Services Public Relations communiqué said.
The security forces that had initiated Operation Zerb-e-Azb against the trouble makers challenging the state writ in North Waziristan agency more than three years back on June 15, 2014, it may be recalled had also kicked off Operation Khyber, the second leg of Operation Zerb-e-Azb on October 14, 2015 and since then has been coming hard on the miscreants through ground and air offensives. In the meanwhile Operation Khyber-two and Khyber-three were also launched later on against the elements challenging the writ of the state over the years.
However, the restive Tiraah valley and Rajgal areas continue to be the most troubled spots in the Khyber agency where not only the Taliban militants regrouped in the backdrop of operation Zerb-e-Azb and Operation Khyber, but also there are pockets of local militants belonging to Lashker-e-Islam of cleric turned militant Mangal Bagh who often lend support to Taliban.
The military sources conducting surgery in the region for the last about three years, have although cleared most of the area in Khyber agency, still there are pockets where they have been facing resistance from the alleged terrorists with hilly terrain Tiraah being the major one and the insurgents off and on launch ambushes on the security forces and their check posts.
It may be recalled the security forces have also inflicted heavy losses on the trouble makers and moved down more than a dozen insurgents on Wednesday during air and ground offensives besides destroying their number of hideouts and defusing many IEDs.

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