Though agency officials maintain that the situation is “stable” violence appears to be soaring in the Khyber Agency of Pakistan today, with at least 58 people reported slain after a day-long gunbattle and a major suicide attack rocked the area.
The gunbattle, described as the “worst fighting in months,” saw members of the Pakistani military fighting with the Lashkar-e Islam (LI) in Tirah Valley. Officials put the toll of the battle at 10 soldiers and 23 LI fighters, though locals indicated that the overall toll could be much higher.
On top of that, a suicide attacker targeted a major mosque in the Tirah Valley, killing another 23 people. Reports indicated that the mosque was frequented by members of the LI, and that a large number of the casualties were believed to be LI supporters.
Along with these incidents, two members of the Tauheedul Islam were killed in an IED blast on the highway. A large number of serious injuries, particularly in the mosque blast, have been reported, and the overall death toll is expected to exceed 70 when all is said and done.