ORAKZAI AGENCY - At least 16 people including 12 militants and four soldiers were killed during fierce fighting in Utmela area of the Orakzai Agency on Sunday.

Four men of the security forces also sustained injuries in the fight.

According to details, a convoy of security forces was patrolling in Utmela area of the agency when clash erupted. Militants armed with sophisticated weapons opened fire on the soldiers from two sides.

Officials in the political administration of the agency said at least four security men embraced martyrdom and four others sustained serious wounds in the ambush.

Political tehsildar of the area Khaista Akbar said, “At least four soldiers identified as lance naik Naveed, naik Yaseen, naik Sultan and sepoy Iftikhar embraced martyrdom in the attack.”

“Hawaldar Sajad Ali, Adnan Baig, sepoy Naeem Ullah and sepoy Sang Wali also sustained critical injuries in the encounter,” he added.

The injured were airlifted through helicopters and shifted to CMH Tall district Hangu.

Forces cordoned off Utmela area soon after the incident and killed at least 12 militants in clashes with terrorists. The security forces’ operation against militants was ongoing till filing of this report.

It merits mentioning here that at least nine militants were killed and one security personnel martyred in a clash in Orakzai Agency on Saturday.

Orakzai Agency is one of the seven lawless tribal areas where forces have been fighting against militants. The security forces have been successful in clearing majority of the areas in the ongoing operation against terrorists.