Several suspected militant hideouts were trampled by Pakistan’s military’s fighter jets in Mir Ali area of the North Waziristan, killing at least 24 persons and wounding 15 more, various local news channels reported on Tuesday.
The air strike followed a series of terrorist attacks across Pakistan in the past week, including Monday’s blast on a check post in Rawalpindi that martyred 6 army personnel and 7 civilians. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan had claimed the responsibility for the attack. The events had led to a mounting pressure on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to take tougher decisions in response to the recent attacks by TTP.
“This hadn’t been planned before, and Pakistan Air Force jets were called to hit hideouts of the militants involved in attacks on security forces,” said one military official speaking on condition of anonymity.
Mir Ali residents were quoted saying 15 people were killed in the bombing that started overnight without any warning. Those attacked could not be shifted to hospitals due to a curfew imposed in the area.
Taliban sources have put the casualties’ toll at 27.
According to military sources, fighter jets had only targeted militant hideouts. The fighter jet strikes were followed by helicopter gunships shelling the targets.
Military strikes were conducted in areas of i Hamzoni village, Mohammadkhel village of Dattakhel tehsil, Shera Tala area, Harmaz village, Moski village and other localities in North Waziristan.
Residents have fled to safer areas in wake of the military operation.
The army was not immediately available for a comment.
Also on Tuesday, unknown militants attacked and set ablaze a security checkpost in Tora Wari area of Doaba town located in Hangu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The attack resulted in at least one security recruit losing his life. The militants fled the scene as the police retaliated with gunfire.
Meanwhile, Tirah Valley area of Khyber tribal region faces an operation by security forces.