Soldier martyred in Bannu, militant killed in Khyber.

KHYBER -- A Pakistan Army soldier was martyred in a bomb blast in Bannu and a suspected militant was killed in a joint operation in Khyber tribal district on Monday.

A local official told Dawn that an improvised explosive device (IED) was planted by militants in the Janikhel area of Bannu district and it exploded when it was being defused by the bomb disposal unit.

'The [explosive] device went off when it was being defused. Sepoy Gul Sher suffered serious injuries in the blast. He was rushed to the Combined Military Hospital, BanAnu, but succumbed to injuries,' he said.

The army's media wing, ISPR, confirmed the incident. 'An IED exploded in the general area JaniAkhel of Bannu district. A 24-year-old Sepoy, Gul Sher, a resident of Khyber district, embraced martyrdom in the attack. Sanitisation of the area is being carried out to eliminate any terrorists,' the ISPR said in a statement.

Meanwhile, a suspected militant was killed by the counter-terrorism department and intelligence agencies in a joint operation in the JamArud area of Khyber tribal district.

An official source told Dawn that the operation was carried out in Mandatu Kotay locality of Ghundi area on a tip-off about the presence of Stana Gul, who was suspected of being a facilitator for the Jan 20 suicide bombing in Takhtabeg area...

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