Air strikes on militant hideouts in Khyber Agency killed at least 15 suspected terrorists early Friday, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said. Three hideouts were also destroyed in airstrikes in the tribal agency as part of the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb. A military official said that security forces will target militants in North Waziristan, as well as the rest of the country as part of the operation.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the official said Army Chief General Raheel Sharif has already directed security forces to continue the operation until all terrorists are eliminated in the country.
The operation in North Waziristan began on June 15 when efforts to strike a peace deal with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its affiliates failed. More than 1,000 suspected militants have so far been killed in the ongoing campaign in the restive tribal agency while close to 90 soldiers also lost their lives, an ISPR statement said.
The military also claimed to have cleared major towns including Miranshah and Mir Ali. However, there is no indication as yet when the operation will conclude. The operation has compelled over 1 million people to flee their homes and find refuge in makeshift camps in Bannu district.
The miltiary’s media wing said a special “Eid Package” was dispatched for the temporarily displaced persons of North Waziristan Agency by 10 Corps Rawalpindi on Friday. According to the statement, 10 trucks carrying 80 tonnes of ration that include flour, rice, sugar, lentils, cooking oil, dry milk and tea, were dispatched from Rawalpindi for the displaced persons.
The entire ration has been voluntarily deposited by the residents of Islamabad and Rawalpindi at collection points established by the army. This was the fifth consignment dispatched by 10 Corps for IDPs in North Waziristan. A total of 700 tons of relief goods have been dispatched by Rawalpindi Corps so far.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2014.