ISLAMABAD/PESHAWAR - At least 11 militants were killed and their three hideouts destroyed in the ongoing military operation in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) on Wednesday, as military claimed that about 80 percent area of Miranshah has been cleared of terrorists.
So far around 411 militants have been killed in operation Zarb-e-Azb while 14 soldiers embraced Shahadat in blasts and clashes with militants. The fight has remained concentrated in and around NWA’s main Miranshah town, where army said al-Qaeda too had a presence.
Meanwhile, expressing satisfaction over the achievements so far made by the armed forces, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said the operation would be instrumental in bringing peace and security to the country.
The PM was talking to the Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif who called on him at PM House and briefed him on operation’s progress and army’s future course of action against the local and foreign terrorists still hiding in parts of Waziristan Agency.
“Inshah Allah this operation will be instrumental in bringing peace and security to Pakistan,” PM said. It was due to the impeccable operational plan of Pakistan Army that the people were safe from the backlash of the operation elsewhere in the country, he added.
Army Chief General Raheel Sharif said that the operation is being carried out successfully according to the stated objective by the government. He told the PM that armed forces would achieve operation targets as per his directions. The COAS also discussed the issue of IDPs of Wazirsitan and the role of army in providing relief to them in the camps in Bannu, Lakki Marwat and DI Khan.
Pakistan’s military launched an operation in North Waziristan to root out terrorism from the tribal region. The operation has led to over half a million people fleeing from the agency and taking shelter at camps. The PM showed satisfaction that all the institutions were performing in well-coordinated manner to support the IDP’s and said; “We are devising a comprehensive rehabilitation plan for them so that they can be rehabilitated with honour and dignity, after the operation is over.”
PM and COAS agreed that the sacrifices of IDPs are for the stability and security of Pakistan. Prime Minister Nawaz lauded the bravery and courage of Jawans of armed forces and their contribution in making the operation a success with minimum collateral damage. He also lauded the role of army chief in making the operation successful.
On the other hand, fighter jets pounded militant hideouts early morning at Zoidara Saidgai areas of tehsil Shawal of NWA. Eleven militants were killed and their three hideouts were destroyed completely. This was the first bombardment on Shawal valley since the army launched the operation on June 15.
A day earlier, jet fighters had targeted militant positions at Degan areas killing 13 militants and destroying their seven hideouts. Consisting of tough terrain, Shawal valley is located some 80 kilometres north of Miranshah.
About 80 percent area of Miranshah has been cleared of terrorists, according to Army’s media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). Briefing local and foreign media persons, ISPR DG and Commander Zarb-e-Azb said al-Qaeda too had their presence in Miranshah.
The journalists were told that so far 100 hideouts of terrorists have been destroyed. Over 400 terrorists have been killed and 130 injured while 20 soldiers have embraced martyrdom during military operation, the military said. No civilian has so far been killed in the operation, it claimed. Pak Army is using troops, tanks and jets in North Waziristan and has vowed to wipe out strongholds which insurgents have used to mount countless deadly attacks in recent years.
Zarb-e-Azb commander said North Waziristan was centre of planning, logistics and communication for the terrorists. To a question ISPR DG said all terrorists will be eliminated without any discrimination. The ISPR demanded the Afghan government prevent entry of fleeing terrorists in Afghanistan.
According to Fata Disaster Management Authority (FDMA), more than 800,000 people have left the North Waziristan tribal area for the nearby towns of Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Karak and Dera Ismail Khan since the military operation began in mid-June.
FDMA officials said they were checking registrations for duplicates, meaning the figure may come down. “Some 833,274 people or 66,726 migrating families from North Waziristan were registered in cities of Bannu and Peshawar until Tuesday evening,” said FDMA director general Arshad Khan. He said 361,459 of the displaced were children and 248,633 women.