PESHAWAR/KHYBER - At least 47 militants were killed as jets pounded their hideouts in North Waziristan and Khyber Agencies here on Tuesday.
According to the ISPR, fighter planes targeted militants’ positions at Mir Ali and its surrounding areas in the afternoon. As A result, some 11 hideouts of the militants were destroyed, besides killing at least 27 terrorists in the action and destroying a huge cache of arms and ammunition.
In another similar action, at least 20 more terrorists were killed in air strikes after their hideouts were pounded in Khyber Agency, the ISPR said, adding 12 hideouts of the terrorists were destroyed. The militants’ positions were hit at Rajghal, Wacha Wala and Pakdarra Koki Khel areas of the agency.
Reports from Khyber Agency said locals denied the fact and said that six persons of one family were killed in the bombardment. In the air strikes, the house of a tribesman, Khan Wali, located in Pak Darra area, was allegedly targeted, killing his three sons and two daughters while Khan Wali was seriously injured.
Meanwhile, three people were killed Tuesday in a suicide bombing in the North Waziristan tribal area, the first such attack there since the military launched a major operation against the Taliban and other militants.
The attacker detonated his car bomb in North Waziristan’s Spinwam village when he was intercepted at the approach to a checkpoint, officials said, killing two soldiers and a civilian.
“At least two soldiers and a civilian embraced martyrdom,” a security official told AFP.
The number of the troops martyred in the offensive “Zarb-e-Azb” rose to 12 since its launch on June 15. A military statement said that troops stopped the suicide bomber 100 metres (yards) away from a checkpoint near a hospital and the action averted major casualties. Ansar-ul-Mujahedin, a faction of Taliban, claimed responsibility, with spokesman Abu Baseer, saying it was the start of a counter-offensive against Pakistani troops. “It is beginning of our offensive and we will launch attacks against the government and local tribesmen if they form an anti-Taliban force,” Baseer told AFP via telephone from an unknown location.
The assault on the militant bastion of North Waziristan, long urged by Washington, came after a bloody and dramatic attack on the Karachi airport brought an end to months of largely fruitless government efforts to negotiate a peace deal with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.
In Bannu, Internally displaced persons from North Waziristan Tuesday protested against mismanagement in food distribution.
The protesters pelted stones on a food point and blocked Kohat-Bannu Road, demanding establishment of more such points for early delivery of food. The security personnel opened aerial firing to control the protesters. The people in the area faced difficulties owing to the blockade of Bannu-Kohat Road.
On the other hand, the ISPR has reported that Army Engineers Division has been tasked to assist the civil administration at Bannu and DI Khan for better management of IDPs. Troops of the Engineers Division have already reached Bannu. Four relief goods delivery points have been established by Engineers Division at Bannu where food items, medical care and cash amount as announced by federal government will be distributed by the civil agency concerned among the IDPs of North Waziristan.
A field medical hospital by army medical corps is also being established at Bannu to provide medical relief to the IDPs.
Due to the ongoing operation at least 430,000 people have fled the region into nearby areas.
According to ISPR statement, more than 454,207 displaced persons (36,514 families) from North Wazirastan were registered so far at Saidgai registration point.
Six ration distribution points have been established for IDPs which include three at Bannu, two at DI Khan and one at Tank districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The statement said detailed distribution of 4,473 tons of ration for 40,000 families will commence from Wednesday (25 June). Each Ration bag carries 20/80 kgs of atta (flour) as per size of the family, cooking oil five litres, Dall (lentils) nine kgs, dates one kg, and tea one kg.
Meanwhile, according to details issued by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) so far 455,597 persons (36,793 families) had crossed over from North Waziristan region.