KHYBER: Security officials in Tirah valley here have ordered residents of Sandana, Dray Naghari and Sanda Pal localities to vacate their houses in anticipation of a small-scale military operation against militants following recent attacks on security forces.

Sources in Bara told Dawn that local security commanders held a meeting with residents of Sandana area on Wednesday morning after a late night attack attack on the personnel deputed in the area. They said Sipah tribesmen, who inhabit the area, were given choice to either hand over the suspects involved in the attack or vacate their houses so that a military action could begin to flush out the miscreants.

Official sources also told Dawn that at least nine suspected persons were arrested during a search operation in Sandana and Nangrosa localities, both inhabited by Sipah tribesmen.

It was learnt from local sources that a number of families, who recently returned to Dray Naghari area, had once again started vacating their houses after receiving instructions from security forces.

The return of Sipah displaced families to Dray Naghari and Sanda Pal was temporarily suspended some three weeks ago after some of the returning persons reported to the security officials that armed militants were present in their area.

Over 5,000 Sipah displaced families had started returning to their respective localities on June 13, 10 years after they were displaced. Sipah tribesmen were the last of seven Bara tribes allowed to return home after a nod from the security officials.

Sources in Maidan area of Tirah said at least two soldiers were injured in separate attacks by suspected militants, while a vehicle of the forces was also targeted with an improvised explosive device in the valley.

Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2022

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