Amid human outflow, 25 militants slain in Waziristan

Published: June 24, 2014

Firefight leaves 10 terrorists, two soldiers dead: ISPR. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD / PESHAWAR: 

More than two dozen terror suspects were killed in air raids and gun attacks in North Waziristan Agency on Monday, as scores of civilians continued to stream out of the troubled region.

Nearly 40,000 families have fled their hometowns in the tribal agency, according to the Fata Disaster Management Authority (FDMA). Until now, the authorities have registered 36,392 families.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), 15 terrorists were killed when jet aircraft targeted their hideouts around the Mirali area. Eight hideouts were destroyed and “tunnels were also spotted in the targeted areas”, said an ISPR statement.

Separately, 10 terrorists were killed in a firefight with security forces when they were trying to flee from the cordoned off areas in Spinwam and Mirali. At least two soldiers also embraced shahadat in an exchange of fire, said ISPR. The statement added that several attempts by terrorists to flee had been foiled. Aerial surveillance, patrols and cordons continue around the area.

The military’s media wing announced that curfew was relaxed for ten hours in North Waziristan on Monday from 6am to 4pm to allow locals to evacuate from the restive area. As many as 414,429 internally displaced persons have been registered so far at Saidgai check post. For better management of IDPs at Bannu, the Army Engineers Division has been tasked with assisting civil administration in Bannu and DI Khan.

Four points have been set up by the Division for the delivery of relief goods in Bannu, where food items, medical care and cash announced by the federal government will be distributed among IDPs. A field medical hospital run by army medical corps is being established at Bannu to provide medical relief, said ISPR.

Relief efforts

The disaster management body stated that Rs10.34 million has been distributed among 1,110 families to date. Up to Rs7,000 has been provided to each displaced family for food items, Rs5,000 for non-food items and Rs3,000 for transport, according to FDMA. FDMA Assistant Director Information and Communications Technology Irfan Ullah Khan told The Express Tribune that registration and facilitation points have been set up at Saidgai checkpost on Bannu-Miramshah Road. So far, 118,753 males, 142,113 females and 189,815 children have been registered here, he said.

Khan said that initially a camp was to be established at Kashoo Bridge on the Bannu-Indus Highway Link Road, 15km from Bannu city; therefore, the camp would have come under the jurisdiction of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority. However, the camp site has now been shifted to Baka Khel, near Baran Dam, Khan said.

Some 18 families decided to remain in the Baka Khel camp, he added. He said that ground levelling and other developmental work has been completed at the camp and six shelters have been constructed. Additionally, 10 water storage tanks, with 2,000 gallons capacity each, have been set up here. 12 toilet facilities have been established at the camp. Electricity, health services and polio vaccinations are also available at the camp, Khan said.

Khan said that 212 displaced families have arrived from Afghanistan via Kurram Agency. Additionally, 10 waiting rooms and 20 registration desks have been set up at the Sedgai Registration Centre, while four mobile health units and five ambulances were also made available. Khan said that four NADRA facilitation points, as well as refreshment boxes with mineral water and dates, were available for those arriving at these checkpoints.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2014.

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