Pakistan: Police arrests 9 terrorists involved in suicide attack on security forces

They rammed an explosive-laden truck into the security post in Dera Ismail Khan on December 12, killing 23 soldiers

By PTI

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Security personnel at the site after militants rammed an explosive-laden truck into a security forces' post, in Dera Ismail Khan district on December 12. Photo: PTI file
Security personnel at the site after militants rammed an explosive-laden truck into a security forces' post, in Dera Ismail Khan district on December 12. Photo: PTI file

Published: Thu 21 Dec 2023, 3:54 PM

Last updated: Thu 21 Dec 2023, 3:55 PM

Pakistani police on Thursday arrested nine terrorists, including the mastermind and seven facilitators, involved in one of the worst terror attacks targeting security forces in recent years that killed 23 soldiers in the restive Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, authorities said.

Six terrorists linked to Tehrik-e-Jihad Pakistan (TJP), a newly formed militant group that is an affiliate of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), rammed an explosive-laden truck into the security post in Dera Ismail Khan in the South Waziristan tribal district in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province on December 12, killing 23 soldiers.

The nine terrorists were arrested by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), a wing of the KPK Police. The mastermind involved in the terror attack belongs to the Daraban area of Dera Ismail Khan, while six terrorists involved in the attack hail from Afghanistan, officials said.

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Hasan alias Shakir, the terrorist who carried out the suicide attack, belongs to Afghanistan and released a video before the attack. The national identity card and domicile of the other suicide bomber, Sifat Ullah Marwat, killed in the attack also established that the attacker belonged to Afghanistan, they said.

According to the documents, five terrorists of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Gandapur group were also embroiled in this attack. US-made weapons and ammunition were recovered as well from the terrorists' possession.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations, the media wing of the army, 23 Pakistan Army soldiers were killed while all six terrorists were "effectively engaged and sent to hell." On the same day, Pakistan summoned Afghan Chargé d'Affaires in Islamabad and delivered a strong demarche to the interim Taliban government in the context of the deadly attack.

Pakistan later asked Afghanistan's Taliban government to hand over those involved in the deadly attack on the army post.

Throughout this year, terrorists and separatists have been targeting security forces in Pakistan. The December 12 attack resulted in the military's highest single-day death toll from terror strikes this year.

Major attacks

The TJP terror outfit has been behind some major attacks in Pakistan.

On November 4, the TJP militants attacked the Pakistan Air Force's Mianwali Training Air Base, some 300 km from Lahore, damaging three grounded aircraft.

All the attackers were killed in the army operation, which came a day after 17 soldiers were killed in three separate terror strikes in the country.

In July this year, the TJP militants attacked Zhob Garrison in the restive Balochistan province, killing four soldiers and wounding five others.

Pakistan has been facing a rise in violence in the wake of the Taliban seizing power in Afghanistan in August 2021.

The terrorists have repeatedly attacked the security and military installations in Pakistan.

In September 2015, Taliban gunmen killed 29 people, including 16 praying in a mosque, when they stormed Badaber air base, close to the northwestern city of Peshawar. It was the deadliest Taliban attack on a military installation in Pakistan's history.

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