Fighter jets and artillery bombarded militant hideouts in North Waziristan Agency on Friday and Saturday, killing 18 insurgents, including a key commander of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
One prominent al Qaeda commander has also been arrested as he was trying to flee. He is believed to be an expert in explosives, IEDs and suicide vests, according to a statement released by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
Late Friday night, Pakistan Air Force jet aircraft destroyed six confirmed hideouts of terrorists on the outskirts of Mirali, killing 11 terrorists, while on Saturday, terrorists’ concentrations were targeted by integrated fire of artillery, tanks and heavy weapons outside Miramshah, killing seven militants.
One of the dead was identified as Umer, TTP’s commander for Miramshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan.
Separately, security forces arrested three terrorists who were trying to cross the River Indus near Mianwali. All crossing places along the river are currently manned to seal any possible escape route.
Meanwhile, there are reports that after the surrender of 19 terrorists, more terrorists may lay down their arms.
The military’s media wing stated that the civilian population has been evacuated from North Waziristan and to ensure that no innocent civilians are left in the area, appeals are being made for any stranded tribesmen to leave also.
Nevertheless, an effective cordon around terrorist hideouts is in place in North Waziristan, it added.
The supply and distribution of ration to the IDPs is gradually improving. A total of 21,543 packets of 110 kilogrammes of ration in each have been distributed among the IDPs at six relief-delivery points established by the army in collaboration with the civil administration at Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan and Tank.
After the initial cash disbursement that took place manually, disbursement via mobile SIMs has been launched for which SIM cards are being distributed to families.
The ISPR statement noted that the people are coming forward and pledging ration, money and other relief goods, and are enthusiastically depositing their contributions at collection points established by the army across the country.
Collection points have been increased to 53 now, where up till 131 tons of rations have been collected thus far and dispatched to Bannu.
A field medical hospital established by the Army Medical Corps at Khalifa Gul Nawaz Hospital, Bannu, is providing medical care to patients round the clock. Mobile medical teams are also being sent out to various areas where IDPs are residing.
Since the IDPs have moved their cattle with them, 11 tons of fodder has also been distributed. Through a special civil-military veterinary set-up, 4,488 livestock animals have been provided veterinary treatment, while 28,345 poultry animals have been vaccinated.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 29th, 2014.