Bombing in North Waziristan leaves 60 dead

Published: May 21, 2014

File photo of a Pakistan Air Force JF-17 Thunder. PHOTO: PPI

MIRANSHAH: Jet planes bombed hideouts of suspected militants in North Waziristan early on Wednesday, killing at least 60 people including insurgent commanders, officials said.

As per reports so far, 60 militants including some of the important commanders and foreigners were also killed in the strikes and around 30 were injured, a statement from the military’s media wing said, without elaborating on who the commanders were.

“Confirmed militant hideouts were targeted early morning today in North Waziristan through precise aerial strikes,” a senior security official told AFP.

The official however did not disclose names of the commanders killed in the strikes.

“There were confirmed reports that militants involved in recent attacks including a blast at an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Peshawar, bomb attacks in Mohmand and Bajaur tribal regions … and attacks on security forces convoys in NWA (North Waziristan), were hiding in these hideouts”, the official added.

“Before the launch of the air strikes, we had confirmed intelligence information about hideouts of the militants and their top commanders,” a senior military official in Miranshah told Reuters.

An intelligence official in North Waziristan said the strikes were carried out in Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan, Mir Ali, Datta Khel and Ghulam Ali areas.

There were reports of some civilian casualties including women and children but the security official did not confirm them.

Independent verification of the toll and identity of the dead was not possible as journalists are not allowed to enter the area.

A curfew was imposed in the area for an indefinite period, military sources said.

The sources further added that several hideouts of militants were also destroyed during the air strike.

The decision to carry out the air strike was reportedly made during a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held on May 20. The meeting was attended by top civil and military leadership, including Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. According to the official statement, the security situation in regional and national context was discussed during the meeting.

Previous bombings

On April 24, jet fighters had bombed suspected militant hideouts in Bara tehsil and Jamrud areas of Khyber Agency, killing at least 35 suspected militants and injuring 14 others.  The operation was the first time the military is known to have used air strikes against militant hideouts since the TTP announced a ceasefire on March 1 to help peace talks.

On February 27, gunship helicopters had carried out shelling in tehsil Kulachi, FR Dera Ismail Khan in which three suspected militants were killed. This was the first time that the Pakistan military had conducted shelling in the settled area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

At least 30 militants perished as warplanes pound their hideouts on February 25 in the South and North Waziristan, according to military officials. The airstrikes mainly took place in Datta Khel and Shawal areas of North Waziristan where militant training facilities and compounds are said to be located.

On February 23, airstrikes were carried out in the remote Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency in which security forces killing at least 38 militants, including key commanders. Six hideouts were also destroyed, they had added.

Just a day earlier, on February 22, security forces had carried out shelling on militant hideouts in Thall sub-district of Hangu, killing at least nine insurgents.

On February 19, at least 30 suspected insurgents were killed and several others got injured as military jets and gunships had bombed their hideouts in the North Waziristan and Khyber agencies.

Reader Comments (47)

  • i4shad
    May 21, 2014 - 8:45AM

    Time to take operation root out to its logical conclusion. Gen sharif got nato/ana to reinforce the border from other side. Ache din aa rahe hein…..

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  • Polpot
    May 21, 2014 - 9:02AM

    When drones killed they killed Innocent Civilians but when…
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    PAF kills they kill militants. No doubt about that.

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  • Ali
    May 21, 2014 - 9:19AM

    Good

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  • Faizan
    May 21, 2014 - 9:28AM

    Finally! Thank you Pakistan military! Keep it up! Dont stop!

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  • salman
    May 21, 2014 - 9:35AM

    Swift reaction after kidnapping of Chinese tourist by TTP militants

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  • Raj - USA
    May 21, 2014 - 9:41AM

    Good, Good and Very Good. Pakistan’s army should keep up the blitz. If they continue such operation for 10 days in a row, the talibans will be finished.

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  • Last Word
    May 21, 2014 - 9:42AM

    Aerial or artillery bombardment rarely kill militants and it mostly results in collateral damage but coordinated ground operations like Sri Lanka launched against LTTE helps in eliminating militancy for good.

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  • jawad Tareen
    May 21, 2014 - 9:56AM

    Are these aeriall strikes enough?
    We have to take a decision now
    Dialogue or operation.

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  • Usman
    May 21, 2014 - 9:57AM

    @Polpot: Stick your own problems bro. Maoists anyone?

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  • numbersnumbers
    May 21, 2014 - 9:59AM

    @Polpot:
    Yes, Pakistan uses its newly developed “Halal” bombs, artillery shells and bullets that cannot possibly harm an innocent, so only bad Taliban are killed!!!!’

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  • Shahriyar
    May 21, 2014 - 10:03AM

    Sporadic reaction would not serve the purpose. Continuous strikes are needed especially since modi’s arrival which will eventually hasten the aiding and support of terrorism in Pakistan

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  • THE
    May 21, 2014 - 10:05AM

    @ET: Come on, there must be another picture that you can use for Pakistan Jets! I am really bored of this one now…

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  • Arshadullah
    May 21, 2014 - 10:44AM

    You bomb them, again, Some more will occupy, its never ending, and you never accounted the collateral damage.
    Counter insurgency operations has failed.
    The main purpose of having an airforce is to attack and defend external aggression its a surprise that PAF is bombing the entire region while most of them run away re group, and attack. Most threatning is when they run to urban areas and carry out attacks.
    I wish the UN is noticing the usage of airforce and heavy air bourne guns against innocent civilians by labeling them terrorists.
    Immediately request UN to intervene and stop this killings of our brother’s by the PAK AIR force.

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  • Hasan Mehmood
    May 21, 2014 - 10:44AM

    @Polpot:

    Your sarcasm is well directed except for one major difference.

    The civilians killed in PAF strikes can be truly classified as collateral damage.

    The civilians (men, women and children far away from war theatre in markets, stadiums, funerals etc) are killed with eyes wide open deliberately and purposefully.

    I hope you will appreciate the difference with an open heart.

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  • Wali
    May 21, 2014 - 10:58AM

    Well, I am all for Operation but the timing seems odd Recommend

  • Rambo
    May 21, 2014 - 10:59AM

    Sad to see more bloodshed. Army carry on with the air strikes, and TTP you carry on with the suicide attaks but one day both of you will realize that peace is the only option. When both sides have lost thousands of lives. Then only will you be forced to come on the negotiation table.

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  • Ashraf P
    May 21, 2014 - 11:03AM

    Not even ONE, I repeat ONE innocent citizen even got a scratch. What technology !! Amazing !!! Pakistan is the greatest military !!

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  • String theory.
    May 21, 2014 - 11:07AM

    This is so much and plz stop and try to make arrest and trial base system every criminal has right to get trialed . It should not allowed more It is part of Pak. Even India not did that in Kashmire, This is too much.

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  • haseeb
    May 21, 2014 - 11:10AM

    yayayay, burn burn. flat their lands and flush them out well this time. i have lost too many family members because of these people.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    May 21, 2014 - 11:17AM

    @Polpot:
    No wonder why we have and always will counter the Indians numerical advantage!

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  • Polpot
    May 21, 2014 - 11:27AM

    The JF17 works wonders…
    ++++++++++++++
    specially when there is no other fighter jet in the sky.

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  • kfaial
    May 21, 2014 - 11:45AM

    @Polpot LolRecommend

  • Salman
    May 21, 2014 - 12:05PM

    @Ashraf P:
    How do you know if an innocent citizen got injured or not? These strikes are very precise and are only conducted when green signal is given by the informers of ISI. Collateral damage is inevitable but these are sacrifices so that we get rid of this TTP plague.

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  • Abuzar Jamil
    May 21, 2014 - 12:13PM

    @Arshadullah:
    Dear, UN is the biggest joke played with the global community.The strikes are not random, they are carried out when authentic intelligence of militancy in an area is reported.

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  • Reader
    May 21, 2014 - 12:20PM

    So, when is Imran Khan protesting against the PAF strikes?Recommend

  • goldconsumer
    May 21, 2014 - 12:20PM

    So you are the picture guy and judge a book by its cover? No issues! All Indians think that way..

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  • Pakistani
    May 21, 2014 - 12:25PM

    @Polpot:
    Did you forget about LCA…hahaha!! By the way, your aircrafts need to get off the ground first (because of your history with LCA you have rightfully forgotten about this basic requirement) to get to our border but in view of IAFs flight safety record, it will be nothing short of a miracle anyways.

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  • Parvez
    May 21, 2014 - 1:36PM

    Well done…….kindly take this to its logical conclusion and THEN gain the praise you deserve.

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  • Arshavin
    May 21, 2014 - 3:04PM

    What if they run away to Afghanistan?

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  • Last Word
    May 21, 2014 - 6:02PM

    @Polpot:
    Your observation on JF-17 Thunder or Blunder is spot on as India has sent a big thank you note to China for selling these obsolete aircrafts to Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Asif
    May 21, 2014 - 6:02PM

    Does ET has any other picture of JF17? It is getting old.

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  • Afnan
    May 21, 2014 - 6:24PM

    @Raj – USA: I disagree with you brother. If wiping them out were so easy we would have done
    it before. Taliban is not a group of peoples it is thinking which need to be destroyed and it will requires clever political moves with short length military operation.

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  • May 21, 2014 - 6:48PM

    As mentioned above, the series of attacks including a blast at an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Peshawar, bomb attacks in Mohmand and Bajaur tribal regions, and attacks on security forces convoys in NWA (North Waziristan) show that the terrorists are unwilling to lay down their weapons and abide by the rule of the law. The terrorists need to be made aware that they cannot continue to attack at will. They need to be made aware that there will be serious repercussions associated with their terrorist activities. Our nations have lost thousands of brave soldiers in countering the threat of terrorism. Pakistan in particular continues to face the wrath of terrorism. At the same time, the great nation of Pakistan continues to stand tall amid this turmoil. We greatly appreciate all of Pakistan’s sacrifices in the region, and have full confidence in Pakistani government’s ability to bring the situation under control.

    Ali Khan
    Digital Engagement Team, USCENTCOM

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  • Col. Zaid Hamid
    May 21, 2014 - 8:16PM

    It is too late too little. Why were you sleeping when USA was asking for hammer & anvil policy?
    You could have save thousand of life.

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  • Rex Minor
    May 21, 2014 - 9:25PM

    They are poor but brave…..and although barbulent and difficult to deal with stll have a great love for their country, and cherish their independence possessing qualities that we admire ourselves which deserve consideration and respect.( John Ayde)

    Rex Minor

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  • B
    May 21, 2014 - 10:01PM

    @Pakistani:
    Sorry t bust your bubble about PAF, ready the following link:

    http://www.strategypage.com/dls/articles/Pakistan-Air-Force-Crumbling-Away-1-13-2013.asp

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  • Moiz Omar
    May 21, 2014 - 10:06PM

    Pakistan Air Force please continue with these bombings against terrorists!Recommend

  • Sexton Blake
    May 21, 2014 - 10:08PM

    When the US/Pakistan forces attack the insurgents they are good, brave and stand tall. When the insurgents carry out their reprisals they are bad and cowardly. Nothing ever changes. The USCENTCOM propaganda sounds like an excerpt from a Hollywood Western movie. If any of the innocent men, women, and children who were attacked are still alive I wonder if the brave military personnel have ensured that they are getting adequate medical care? It is also my understanding that in all US wars over the last 70 years or so 90 percent of casualties are civilians, although as US General Tommy Frank once said “we do not do body counts”.

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  • Polpot
    May 22, 2014 - 12:49AM

    @Asif: “Does ET has any other picture of JF17? It is getting old.”"
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Whats getting old…the picture or the JF 17?

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  • Weirdity
    May 22, 2014 - 12:54AM

    Whats the ratio between terrorists and innocents killed in this attack? Will the people who protest drone attacks take a look at this number please.

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  • objective observer
    May 22, 2014 - 2:00AM

    The problem with Pakistan is it thinks it is a master at manipulating these militant outfits.

    When in reality, these militant outfita are masters at manipulating Pakistan.

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  • Virkaul
    May 22, 2014 - 7:00AM

    @Salman: Werenot drone doing the same with far less collateral damage?

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  • numbersnumbers
    May 22, 2014 - 7:51AM

    @Virkaul:
    Correct, but the ISPR does not allow the (Free?) Pakistani media to report on any “collateral” deaths and injuries from any Pakistani military operations! After all, those unguided heavy artillery shells are just so accurate!!! NOT!

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  • bajwa
    May 22, 2014 - 8:49AM

    If this is being done on the approval of Pakistan government then why the same government is prosecuting Musharraf for the Lal Masjid event?

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  • Lunacyassailam
    May 22, 2014 - 10:53AM

    India will not sit quietly and watch Scythians ethnic cleanse our Pukthoon Brothers.

    Recommend

  • May 23, 2014 - 12:53AM

    worst form of censorship from ET!!! my comments just question people who are happy about these extra judicial killings and they were censored, et following the american model where one group of people have every right to say as part of freedom of speech and the other groups are censored by laws such as anti-semitism etc. well done ET, and shame on you, freedom of speech in Pakistan down the drain!!!

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  • Sexton Blake
    May 23, 2014 - 8:33PM

    @ali:
    Dear ali,
    I quite understand your views on censorship. In my country, and most Western countries, one has to be careful how one speaks in public, even if speaking the truth, because you can easily be sent to prison. Evan in America where free speech is enshrined in the Constitution it can be dangerous to criticize a particular group due to powerful lobbies, which are basically funded by the US. Similarly ET would have to be careful, because it, and its monitors, could easily be accused of encouraging hate speech and/or being anti whatever the group is that you feel should rightfully be criticized. I do not know how long these dangerous laws or conventions will exist for, but there is certainly a large background sullenness due to people not being allowed to criticize what they feel are obvious wrong doings or incorrect statements and publications. In the meantime one can usually get ones point across to a limited extent by choosing words carefully. It is not satisfactory, but we will have to live with it. Unfortunately, a large percentage of people will not understand what you are saying, but the group or groups you are aiming at will know. I think the key is persistence. If one thing does not work try something else. In regard to extra judicial killing, which I do not agree with, I would like to see a poll indicating for and against.

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