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Militants kill senior Pakistani ISI official in South Waziristan gunfight

A senior Pakistani
intelligence official has been killed and seven of his team members have been wounded in an encounter with militants in northwestern
Pakistan, the South Asian country’s military said.

Brigadier Mustafa Kamal Barki of the Inter-Services Intelligence [or ISI], the country’s main spy agency, was killed in an encounter in South Waziristan, said the military’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations Pakistan [ISPR], on Tuesday. 

ISPR said intense firing was exchanged with militants, and two of Barki’s team members were in critical condition.

“Brigadier Barki and his team put up a valiant resistance against the terrorists during the encounter and the officer sacrificed his life for peace of the motherland,” ISPR said.

Zarrar Khuhro, a senior Pakistani journalist, said Burki was heading counter intelligence and was not a field officer, adding “Ambush like that means a clear intel leak and is a major blow to efforts against TTP [Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan] and allied groups.”

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said Barki had “sacrificed his life for the peace of motherland,” adding his sacrifice will not go in vain.

No group has claimed responsibility.

The region has seen a resurgence of terror attacks since late last year, including a deadly bombing of a mosque in Peshawar that killed over 100 people, mostly policemen.

This mountainous region borders Afghanistan and has long been a hotbed of militants and outlawed terror group TTP. 

Most attacks in the region have been claimed by TTP, which pledges loyalty to but is separate from the Taliban ruling neighbouring Afghanistan.

Explained: Pakistan’s Taliban insurgency and the deadly cycle of violence

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