At least 81 persons have been killed so far in clashes between the Tirah-based banned organisation Ansarul Islam (AI) and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) that erupted on Friday.
The sources said the clashes erupted between the two militant organisations early on Friday morning when dozens of TTP militants armed with mortars and rockets launched an attack on the positions of the AI west and north of Maidan from Arghenjo in Orakzai Agency and Kukikhel area in Tirah valley.
After a brief fight, the TTP captured three hilltops from the Kukikhel side, namely Kalawooch, Angori Sar and Drey Stani, and two positions from the Arghenjo side named Qismat Sangar and Sengakh Sar in the AI-controlled part of the valley, the sources said.
Soon after the attack by the TTP, the head of the AI Qazi Mehboob informed his supporters through his FM broadcast about the situation and asked them to rush towards the losing positions to retake them from the enemy. Subsequently, hundreds of armed volunteers and local tribesmen assembled in Bagh, the AI headquarters, and marched towards the west and north and launched an attack on the TTP occupying positions on their area called Maidan.
After an eight-hour-long fight, the AI recaptured Stani Sar, Kalawooch, Angori Sar and Qismat Sangar, the sources said.
However, the AI failed to recapture Sengakh Sar bordering Orakzai Agency and had laid siege to it till the filing of this report.