[Photo: Pakistani forces. File photo]
By Zahir Shah Sherazi
PESHAWAR, (Dawn): At least four suspected militants were killed on Friday when security forces opened fire on an explosives-laden vehicle in the Fort Slope area of Bara tehsil in the Khyber tribal region.
Security forces signaled a suspicious vehicle which was approaching their base, directing it to stop but opened fire on it after the vehicle failed to accord with the directive.
The vehicle was completely destroyed in the incident.
Suspects killed in the attack were reported to be affiliated with the Gangriz Group of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
Moreover, one of the militants killed in the incident was identified as Rashid from the Sipah area in Khyber’s Bara tehsil.
Another source claimed that an explosion occurred inside the vehicle and the four traveling in it were burnt to death.
However, this could not be independently verified as media personnel were not allowed to enter the area and the Inter-Services Public relations (ISPR) is also yet to issue any statement in this regard.
Khyber links several agencies to each other, serving as a north-south route within Fata. The region has been long fought over by a mix of militant organisations, including the TTP, the Ansarul Islam and Mangal Bagh’s Lashkar-i-Islam.