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Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan seizes villages, kills 6 soldiers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

(Photo by AAMIR QURESHI / AFP)

On September 6, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) launched a large-scale military offensive called ‘Operation Malakand’ in Chitral district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, targeting Pakistani army posts. The attack resulted in casualties among Pakistani soldiers, with reports of fatalities and injuries. TTP additionally asserts control over multiple villages in the area.

The attack commenced early in the day, as confirmed by a TTP commander during a telephone interview with The Khorasan Diary. According to the commander, the operation in the Chitral district began at 4 AM (Pakistan time) and has captured multiple villages. However, due to ongoing internet connectivity problems, sharing visual documentation is currently challenging for the TTP.

In a conversation with The Khorasan Dairy, a senior Pakistani security official refuted the TTP’s assertions, stating that the terror group has not captured any areas.

In a statement to local media, TTP spokesman Muhammad Khurasani urged citizens to stay calm, emphasizing that their conflict was directed solely at the Pakistani army, which he described as “usurping” and “oppressive” security forces. This statement coincides with Pakistan’s observance of its Defence Day on Wednesday.

Khurasani reassured the people of Chitral, emphasizing their safety, stating, “You should remain calm. No harm will come to you. Our war is against usurping and oppressive security agencies,” local media outlets reported.

Unconfirmed videos circulating on social media, particularly on X (formerly Twitter), suggest that Pakistani SSG commands have been deployed to Chitral in response to reports claiming that around 500 TTP terrorists have taken control of several villages in the region.

Multiple social media accounts, including those of well-known journalists with expertise in Pakistani affairs, have reported clashes between Pakistani forces and TTP along the Durand Line, leading to the temporary closure of the Torkham border crossing.

The Pakistani army has refuted any casualties, whereas TTP terrorists assert that they have killed six Pakistani soldiers.

The Pakistani media has notably refrained from covering the TTP’s significant offensive against the Pakistani army. The TTP, also known as the Pakistan Taliban, declared war on the military in November 2022, aiming to establish Sharia laws in Pakistan similar to the Afghan Taliban’s rule in Kabul. This resurgence of terror activities in Pakistan is linked to long-standing support for terror outfits by the military and establishment.

According to UN reports, the TTP collaborates closely with Al-Qaida and is implicated in numerous lethal attacks throughout Pakistan. Recent incidents include the deaths of a Pakistan Army Major and a soldier during an intelligence operation on September 2 in a northwest tribal district bordering Afghanistan. Moreover, just two days earlier, nine Pakistani soldiers were reportedly killed in a TTP suicide attack in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.