PESHAWAR - The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed on Thursday to have killed 15 Frontier Constabulary personnel, who were kidnapped from Mullazai Fort in Tank on Dec 23, to avenge the killing of their colleagues in Landikotal.

According to pamphlets distributed by the Taliban to the media, it was stated that on Jan 01, the security forces of Pakistan killed TTP fighters and one woman. They also arrested some women and five infants in Kramana area of Landikotal tehsil in Khyber Agency during a military operation.

Taliban questioned the rationale of government officials who declared Rashid Hussain, 29 years old son of KP Information Minister Mian Iftikhar as a kid. How could they (govt officials) declare five infants arrested by the security forces as militants, they questioned.

Agencies add: Sending the ‘New Year gift’ to the government of Pakistan, TTP killed 15 kidnapped FC personnel to avenge the killing of their colleagues, the pamphlet said.

The pamphlet also said it was the beginning, and the government should wait for more turbulent news, adding that video of the FC personnel’s killing would be released in coming days to teach a lesson to “infidels and their friends.” Later on, during telephonic calls from undisclosed location to various reporters, TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan claimed to have killed all the 15 FC personnel, saying their bodies were dumped near Shawa area of North Waziristan Agency.

“The FC personnel were killed in revenge for an operation by security forces in Khyber Agency,” the spokesman said.

Sources said Qari Kamran, a top TTP commander, was reportedly killed along with 12 other militants, while some women and children were also taken into custody by the security forces during the operation in Landikotal. Local officials confirmed that 15 bodies, with gunshot wounds and telltale signs of torture, had been found in the Thal area.  “We have received dead bodies of 15 kidnapped FC men”, senior local FC commander Ali Sher Mehsud told AFP. All the corpses, which arrived in a military hospital in Thal, had bullet wounds, he added. A local intelligence official also confirmed the killings.

In a written statement, the TTP said: “It was against the Pashtun tradition and culture that the women and children had been taken by security forces into custody during operation.”

On Dec 22, armed with sophisticated weapons, the TTP fighters overran Mullazai Fort. They killed one securityman and kidnapped 15 others.

, besides setting the fort on fire.

Law enforcement agencies launched repeated raids to recover the missing security personnel but failed to rescue them.

The killing of FC personnel also belies the media reports that Taliban have declared to stop war against the Pakistani forces on the directives of Mullah Omar who asked them and other militant groups to stop toppling their own governments rather they should enhance support to the Afghan Taliban to accelerate war against the US-led Nato forces.