Sun, 28 May 2023

Islamabad [Pakistan], May 24 (ANI): Six security personnel were killed after more than a dozen terrorists stormed an oil and gas exploration site in the Hangu district of Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Dawn reported citing the police and the energy firm as saying on Tuesday.

The attack took place at facilities run by MOL Pakistan Oil and Gas Company in the Manji Khel region of the Hangu district near the Afghan border. MOL Pakistan Oil and Gas Company is a unit of Hungary's MOL, Pakistan-based Dawn newspaper reported.

Police said that the terrorists attacked two wells, known as M-8 and M-10, with heavy weapons, including rocket-propelled grenades. The outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The security personnel who were killed in the attack include four members of the Frontier Constabulary, identified as Hamzali, Waleed, Shariatullah and Zafar Alam. Private guards Sabz Ali and Aseel Khan were also killed in the attack, Dawn reported.

Speaking to Dawn, the Counterterrorism Department on Tuesday said that around 15 to 20 terrorists with modern weapons scaled the mountains near the North Waziristan district and opened fire at the guards at the oil and gas installations late on Monday night.

The exchange of fire between terrorists and security personnel continued for two hours and the attackers fled the spot after the gunfight. The Thal scouts and police reached the site of the attack and started a combing operation which continued until Tuesday morning, as per the news report.

MOL in a statement said that none of its employees were present at the site of the attack. MOL further said that security forces personnel were killed in the attack that included soldiers and third-party contractors, as per the Dawn report.

In the statement, MOL said that production from the wells was temporarily shut down by remote access and the wells are now secured, pending the completion of an onsite regulatory probe. It said that the attack took place at a distance from the plant area and production at the other wells continued without disruption. MOL further said that the attack did not impact MOL's production.

Earlier on Sunday, two soldiers and three terrorists were killed in the wee hours in a military operation, reported Dawn. In an intelligence-based operation, the terrorists were killed in the region.

According to an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement, the terrorists who were slain were still actively participating in "numerous terrorist activities against security forces as well as innocent citizens in the region."As per the statement, the soldiers killed were identified as 39-year-old Naik Muhammad Atiq and 36-year-old Naik Rajab Ali, as per the news report. The ISPR said that sanitisation of the area was being conducted to eliminate the terrorists. (ANI)

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