More than 50 dead in gunfights, air strikes in Orakzai, Kurram

By AFP
Published: March 18, 2012

Jet strikes today killed 26 militants and wounded 15 others and destroyed their seven hideouts. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

PESHAWAR: At least 51 militants and four soldiers have been killed in air strikes and clashes with security forces in the restive northwest over the past week, officials said Sunday.

On Sunday, planes bombed a tribal belt bordering Afghanistan, killing 26 militants, a senior paramilitary official told AFP.

“Jet strikes today killed 26 militants and wounded 15 others and destroyed their seven hideouts in different areas of Upper Orakzai and Kurram,” the official said.

Separately, at least 25 militants and four soldiers were killed in Bara, Khyber Agency in gunfights between March 12 and 18, the official said.

“Four security forces personnel embraced martyrdom and 12 others were wounded in gunfights which left 25 militants dead,” he said.

The official said that no militant had been killed in custody and added that the military operation was directed at the militants belonging to the Taliban-linked Laskhar-e-Islam group that is led by warlord Mangal Bagh.

The group has been involved in recent suicide attacks and kidnapping in Peshawar, which borders Khyber, he said.

Two local intelligence officials confirmed the clashes and death toll.

Independent verification of the incident is not possible as access to the area is restricted by the military.

Some 18,000 people fled their homes in Khyber in October last year amid fears of a fresh outbreak of fighting between the army and militants linked to the Pakistani Taliban.

Pakistan’s seven tribal districts near the Afghan border are rife with homegrown insurgents and are strongholds of Taliban and al Qaeda operatives.

Militants have killed more than 4,800 people across Pakistan since government troops raided a mosque in Islamabad in July 2007.

Reader Comments (24)

  • bhatti
    Mar 18, 2012 - 6:30PM

    Atleast give the killing a rest today and enjoy the match.

    Recommend

  • Mar 18, 2012 - 6:34PM

    And who’s gonna confirm that fifty one dead were all insurgents, not civilians? Seems like Pakistanis have got really accurate weapons that only kill insurgents. How about lending some of them to Americans who’s kill ratio is 5 civilians/ 10 insurgents in Afghanistan.

    ISPR says it and we believe it. Lakheer ke Faqeer! Or may be blind patriotism.

    Recommend

  • Its (still) the Economy Stupid
    Mar 18, 2012 - 6:42PM

    and there was no collateeral damage. PAF zindabad best in the world. Pakistan to offer training to other air forces and will sell precision bombs at a premium price to revive the economy. I have some swamp land to sell too.

    Recommend

  • Imran
    Mar 18, 2012 - 6:58PM

    These terrorists have terrorized people of Kurram Agency for too long. The operation was long overdue. 180 million Pakistanis hope this time they will be eliminated for good.

    Recommend

  • Mar 18, 2012 - 7:07PM

    @Afghan Karachite:
    If forces dont take action against them u stand up and start criticizing if they do u still remain unhappy why?

    Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Mar 18, 2012 - 7:44PM

    I fully support this action to wipe out the terrorists. Few collateral damages are a lot better than the imminent colossal damages that is bound to happen if these terrorists are left to have their way.

    Recommend

  • sars
    Mar 18, 2012 - 8:08PM

    To me the only news here is that 4 jawans embraced martyrdom. may they get the best places in Jannah and their families be given sabr.
    The militants will (hopefully) rot alongside their supporters.

    Recommend

  • Azim
    Mar 18, 2012 - 8:26PM

    Congrats on our Pak Army Jawans for embracing Shadat!
    The nation stands behind you at this critical time, so go full throttle and clean our motherland with all these terrorist / extortionists!
    Pakistan Zindabad

    Recommend

  • faraz
    Mar 18, 2012 - 8:27PM

    Air strikes are guided by ground intelligence. PAF is not carrying out any strategic carpet bombing campaign. And terrorist hideouts are in the hills and mountains, not in a residential colony

    Recommend

  • Cautious
    Mar 18, 2012 - 8:33PM

    The comments concerning possible civilian casualties may have some merit – it’s something the Pakistan military never acknowledges and is reluctant to comment on. The targeting system on an American hellfire missile is much more sophisticated than a “dumb” bomb dropped from an F16. Pakistan’s military confrontations have relied heavily on artillery and fighter bombers – both are notorious for their collateral damage.

    Recommend

  • Singh
    Mar 18, 2012 - 9:56PM

    Afghan Karachite,
    You have nailed on head . good judgement

    Recommend

  • Sweet Dee
    Mar 18, 2012 - 10:37PM

    @ Singh

    Please spare us the fake concerns Indians.

    @ Cautious

    Our intel is much better than the Americans. This minimizes collateral damage. And we have more than just “dumb” bombs.

    Recommend

  • Basit
    Mar 18, 2012 - 10:44PM

    @Its (still) the Economy Stupid:
    Unlike USAF who conducts Close Air Support bombings on minutes notice with little intelligence many times, PAF only conducts pre-planned bombing runs based on a lot of air and ground intelligence collected for weeks and only targets known hideouts. The possibility of civilian death is far less with PAF. And PAF also uses smart weapons, laser guided and GPS guided in at least 80% of sorties.

    It’s better to learn a few things before assuming.

    Recommend

  • WoW
    Mar 18, 2012 - 11:43PM

    @Basit:
    “Smart weapons, laser guided and GPS guided missiles’ can you please name the Pakistani factory that are making these weapons?. Since you have learned a few things before writting you must have an answer.

    Recommend

  • WoW
    Mar 18, 2012 - 11:57PM

    @Pakistan politics:
    It is not a matter of standing up to them or not. Pakistanis say USA bombs mostly kill civilians but the same and more dangerous bombs (also supplied by the USA) and used by Pak and DO NOT KILL CIVILIANS. How on earth can you contradict yourselves and for how long?

    Recommend

  • Sam
    Mar 19, 2012 - 12:07AM

    @wow
    I suggest you research on Pakistan airforce. All missiles are guided whether laser, gps or terrain mapped. You don’t drop a bomb from a moving plane without guidance. It’s far worse than throwing a tennis ball from a moving car and most airforce during this era use precision guidance

    Recommend

  • rana imran
    Mar 19, 2012 - 12:16AM

    LaL Masjid attack by Pakistani army led to all this war till today? The last line of this story says that after LaL Masjid attack by Pakistani Army, Millitants are attacking else where in Pakistan against security forces. This is too dangerous statement by tribune express and confirm last days Supreme Court of Pakistan’s observation that Situation in FATA is reaction of some action (LaL Masjid attack by Pakistani Army). If, this is true, then remember all readers, that this war of Terror will be lost by Pakistan and all others.

    Recommend

  • let there be peace
    Mar 19, 2012 - 12:37AM

    and what is the real story ?

    Recommend

  • Meekal Ahmed
    Mar 19, 2012 - 1:30AM

    @Basit:

    You must be military.

    Recommend

  • Zeta
    Mar 19, 2012 - 3:19AM

    @Afghan Karachite:
    Pakistan army fight on the ground and strikes are carried out after confirmation of ground intelligence.

    Whereas Chacha USA just blindly presses the button on mere suspicion.

    Recommend

  • Zeta
    Mar 19, 2012 - 3:26AM

    @WoW:
    NESCOM is one of the industries making H-4, H-6 precision guided glide bombs.

    Recommend

  • MarkH
    Mar 19, 2012 - 3:41AM

    @Pakistan politics:
    Because you’re open hypocrites about it and everyone loves to pick on hypocrites.

    Recommend

  • Basit
    Mar 19, 2012 - 6:24AM

    @WoW:
    A simple google search would have gotten you the answer, but that is too much to expect from our liberal elites these days.

    Other than locally produced H4 and H6 (IR guided), we have the American AGM-65 (optical guided), Paveway (laser guided), JDAM (GPS guided) plus the Chinese origin LGBs that the new JF-17 employs and also Army Aviation uses wire guided TOW missiles.

    Happy?

    Recommend

  • YUSUFZAI
    Mar 19, 2012 - 7:32AM

    @Sweet Dee:
    what intelligence?who told you this?I am from swat and I have seen such air strikes killing just civilians but our brave forces never acknowledged it.I have strong reasons to beleive that something like this will also be happenning this in FATA but we here just ISPRS version?IS there any independent reporting from there?WHY does not our forces permit our local journalists to go there?some time they bring a correspondant or two in their convoy and show them what they want to show us .That’s it.AS far as collateral damage is concerned if people here in forum are not air striked its ok.no problem such is your attitude/

    Recommend

More in KP & FATA