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4 Pakistan Army Soldiers, Including 3 Officers Killed in IED Blast in North Waziristan

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North Waziristan Agency: Four soldiers of the Pakistan Army, including three officers, were killed in the restive North Waziristan province in an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion in Kharqamar area. North Waziristan along with the Balochistan region are considered the most volatile regions in Pakistan and reports of terror activities and human rights violations are often in the news.

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Four other soldiers also sustained injuries when terrorists targeted a military vehicle through an IED planted on the roadside, the military’s media wing said. The killed personnel were identified as Lt Col Raashid Karim Baig, a resident of Karimabad, Hunza; Major Moeez Maqsood Baig, a resident of Karachi; Capt Arif Ullah, a resident of Lakki Marwat; and Lance Havaldar Zaheer, a resident of Chakwal.

“This is the same area where forces had conducted search operations and arrested [a] few facilitators,” the ISPR statement said. It noted that 10 security personnel have been martyred and 35 injured due to terrorist violence in the area over the course of the last one month — a figure that includes today’s casualties.

The incident, which coincides with the third day of Eidul Fitr, comes a day after two Frontier Corps (FC) soldiers were martyred in Balochistan’s Harnai district while on Eid patrol duty. The security personnel were targeted through an IED as well, sources within the Balochistan Levies had said.

It also comes less than a week after a Pakistan Army soldier was martyred in a gun-and-bomb attack on a security vehicle in North Waziristan. The military’s media wing had noted at the time that “terrorist activities in North Waziristan have increased lately.”

Condemnations Pour In

Pakistan President Arif Alvi strongly condemned the blast in North Waziristan in which four Army personnel were martyred on Friday. President Alvi in a statement said miscreants were against the restoration of peace in the area, however, the nation was united against them. He prayed for the departed souls to rest in peace and for the grant of courage to the bereaved families.

Prime Minister Imran Khan also acknowledged the sacrifices of the soldiers and said their bravery kept the nation safe. “Deeply saddened to learn of the Shahadat of three officers and one soldier from a terrorist-planted IED blast in Kharkamar, N.Waziristan. My condolences to the families of the Shuhada and prayers for the recovery of the injured,” the prime minister said on Twitter.

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He added, “I salute the sacrifices and bravery of our soldiers in keeping us safe. The whole nation stands behind them.”

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan also strongly condemned the terrorist attack in North Waziristan and condoled with the families of army officers and soldier, who were martyred in the incident.

Dr Firdous in a statement said Pakistan had shown that its officers, jawans and people were united against terrorism. “The nation is proud of its martyrs as they lay down their lives for the defence and security of the motherland, and protection of the lives of citizens,” she said.  Dr Firdous added the ghastly acts of terrorism could not waver the resolve and determination of the nation.

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