PESHAWAR/ISLAMABAD - At least 27 militants were killed after fighter jets pounded militants' hideouts in Shawal area on the second day of 'Zarb-e-Azb' operation launched by army in North Waziristan Agency to wipe off foreign and local militants.
A statement released by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that early morning jet aircrafts hit at least six hideouts of the hardcore militants in Shawal, destroying the targeted positions completely.
"In these precise strikes, at least 27 terrorists were killed. The targeted area has no civilian population and the Zarb-e-Azb operation is going according to the plan," it said, adding that no operation in civil populated areas has been started so far.
In another statement, Pak Army mouthpiece said that as many as seven terrorists were killed in exchange of fire when trying to flee a cordon in Ghulam Khan area after militants targeted a vehicle with an IED device the same day which killed six soldiers. It said two soldiers also embraced shahadat in the exchange of fire.
In a separate sniper action by Special Service Group, at least three terrorists were killed while laying IEDs close to Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan Agency (NWA). The ISPR said the operation is progressing as per plan and NWA has been isolated by deploying troops along its border with neighboring tribal agencies.
"It is to block any move of terrorists in and out of North Waziristan Agency" the release explained. In addition, troops have cordoned off all terrorists bases, including the town of Mirali and Miranshah. Those terrorists fleeing the areas were killed on the outskirts of Mirali last night.
Security has been beefed up all along Pak-Afghan border as well to check terrorists fleeing from area and Afghan National Army and Afghan Border Police have also been requested to seal the border on their side to facilitate elimination of terrorists fleeing across the border. The Afghanis have also been requested to initiate immediate measures to eliminate TTP terrorists and their sanctuaries in Kunar, Nuristan and other areas of Afghanistan.
On the other hand, Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has warned foreigners and multinational companies to suspend their activities in Pakistan or get ready to face consequences of non-compliance. "We are in a state of war and we will target each and every government installation as the army has launched military operation against the will of the nation," TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said this in a statement issued here on Monday.
The spokesman called upon the foreigners to leave the country and not sign any agreement with Pakistani government, which is “ultimately being used against Taliban”. He said they warn foreign companies and airline companies to suspend their services in the country as they are going to launch attacks on government installations. He said that the revenue generated by the government through foreign investment is being used against Taliban and tribal people in this military operation.
Shahidullah said that TTP believes Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Punjab establishment are directly responsible for this military operation, which is aimed to earn sympathies of US and its allied forces. The statement said that the dream of rooting out Taliban militants from the country would not come true and the government would see the consequences of this military operation in Islamabad and Punjab.
To fight out this threat, security has been beefed up in all major cities and towns at sensitive installations across the country by civil administration. ISPR said, "Army troops have been alerted and forward placed to assist law enforcement agencies. They will remain at designated places and whenever asked by civil administration will be employed in case of emergency."
The military action in North Waziristan was launched a week after a brazen insurgent attack on Karachi International Airport in which some 36 people had been killed. The attack was later claimed by Taliban and Uzbek militants. Sources said that troops have not been involved in direct military action, leaving F-16 combat jets to lead the offensive with air strikes. It is unclear how long the operation will continue.
On Sunday last, jet aircrafts started precise strikes in Degan- Boya in NWA in which so far 140 terrorists have been killed. Most of those killed are Uzbeks. Many ETIM terrorists and their affiliates have also been killed in the strikes. At least three soldiers were injured last night in exchange of fire with terrorists around Mirali.
The ISPR statement said that an orderly and dignified evacuation of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from North Waziristan is being carried out and necessary logistics and administrative arrangements for IDPs have been completed by Political Administration and Fata Disaster Management Agency (FDMA). To accommodate IDPs, registration points and camps have been established in Bannu district, it said. The political administration has already clamped curfew in North Waziristan.