Official: Pakistani jets kill 5 insurgents
KHAR, Pakistan — Fighter jets pounded suspected militant hide-outs Tuesday and killed five insurgents in a tribal region where the Pakistani military declared victory over insurgents six months ago following an offensive, an official said.
The bombings occurred in the Salarzai area of the northwest Bajur tribal region, local government official Zahid Khan said.
Pakistan’s army launched an intense offensive that left more than 1,700 alleged militants dead in Bajur just over a year ago. In February, the military said it had defeated al-Qaida and Taliban fighters there, but pockets of resistance remain.
Pakistan is in the midst of multiple army operations against militants in its northwest regions bordering Afghanistan, but security throughout the country has deteriorated.
On Monday, three burqa-clad men tried to attack a major oil terminal in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi but were foiled by security forces, police said.
A guard died in the attack on the terminal, where oil supplies arrive for the country’s largest oil refinery.
Three suspects tried to enter the oil terminal in the western Keamari area dressed as women, police said. The security guard on duty tried to intercept them, but was shot by the attackers.
A police vehicle patrolling nearby heard the gunshots and responded. The attackers managed to escape, but left behind 10 hand grenades, three Kalashnikov rifles and bullets stuffed in a lady’s purse.
“It was a big attempt at terrorism averted by the police with the help of the brave guard,” city police chief Waseem Ahmed said.
Police later found rocket-propelled grenades, explosives, suicide vests, burqas and other items apparently dumped by the suspects near a sewer in the Saeedabad area, also in western Karachi, senior investigator Raja Umar Khattab said.
“The bullet cartridges and the burqas found today suggests they threw their weapons when on the run after their foiled attempt on the oil terminal,” Khattab told The Associated Press.
Karachi has a population of more than 16 million and a history of political, religious and ethnic violence. It is also Pakistan’s commercial capital, and Taliban fighters are believed to use it as a place to rest and raise money.