ISLAMABAD: Another 23 suspected militants were killed in fresh airstrikes on militants’ hideouts on Thursday, according to the military’s media wing.
“Today in precise aerial strikes carried out on terrorists hideouts in Zerom, Ismail Khel, and Datta Khel in North Waziristan, 23 terrorists were killed,” said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a statement.
Security forces have stepped up their campaign against militants as the military is pushing to clear the entire area from militants before the arrival of winter.
The army claimed to have destroyed the ‘command and control structure’ of terrorists and insisted their ability to hit back has been significantly disrupted.
In June, the army began major offensives – Operation Zarb-e-Azb – in North Waziristan aimed at clearing the area of insurgent groups, including the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, after a bloody raid on Karachi Airport ended faltering peace talks.
Pakistan Army says it has killed more than a thousand militants and lost 86 soldiers since the start of the operation.
Meanwhile, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif lauded all ranks for their ‘unflinching’ resolve in the ongoing operation ‘Zarb-e-Azb.’
He made the statement during the concluding ceremony of Inter-Regimental Centre ‘Physical Agility and Combat Efficiency System’ Championship held at Junior Leader Academy in Shinkiari on Thursday. The ISPR said General Raheel appreciated the phenomenal performance and competitive spirit and the efforts of both trainers and trainees in achieving these standards.
Emphasising the need of physical fitness for a soldier, the COAS reiterated that peace time training was the only guarantor for success during war.
The COAS gave away trophies to winner and runner up teams and medals for best individual performances.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 19th, 2014.