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Pakistan

Troops secure key passes in Rajgal Valley

Security forces are consolidating their positions after securing key mountainous passes in the Rajgal Valley of Khyber Agency in what is being described as a major success in the ongoing operation in the treacherous region.

The operation, codenamed Khyber-III, was launched on August 16 as a part of the military’s efforts to check the movement of terrorists along the porous border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“Security forces have occupied passes and are now consolidating their positions up in high mountains in Rajgal,” the military’s media wing, the ISPR, said in a statement. “During search in Damo Drub [area] huge cache of arms and ammunition, including improvised explosive devices, were recovered.”

At least 40 terrorists have been killed and 21 wounded in air and ground actions since the start of the operation, according to the ISPR. “In the treacherous terrain of Rajgal, 43 terrorist hideouts have also been decimated.”

Operation Khyber-III is a part of Pakistani military’s efforts to ensure effective border management to check infiltration of terrorists, who frequently shuttle between the two countries.

Pakistan has successfully driven out terrorists from the tribal areas, including from North Waziristan Agency, where local and foreign militants held sway until the military launched Operation Zarb-e-Azb in 2014.

But militants still maintain some hideouts close to the Pak-Afghan border. Security officials say the operation in Rajgal Valley would squeeze the space available to terrorists along the border.

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