Pakistan’s armed forces moved in to Miranshah on Thursday morning after the completion of the first phase of the military operation in the troubled North Waziristan Agency which has long been the hub of militant insurgency.
The troops began shelling in Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan tribal district.
“The army has started using artillery since 6:00 am today and has bombarded Miranshah bazaar and Zafar town areas through cannon and tanks,” an intelligence official in Miranshah told a foreign news agency.
Another intelligence official and a senior military official confirmed the information to the agency.
According to a source talking to Pakistan Today, the ground troops are provided air cover.
The ground offensive has been launched after airstrikes in the first phase of Zarb-e-Azb targeted the basic infrastructure of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
“The training facilities, hideouts and other infrastructure used by the TTP terrorists were destroyed during the aerial bombing. Now the ground troops would go in to sweep the entire area in a bid to clean the NWA of terrorists,” the source said.
According to reports, around 300 terrorists have been killed in the operation till date while for the first time, a batch of 12 terrorists surrendered in the agency on Wednesday.
The source said that until now 56,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) have been registered, while adding that civilians have completely evacuated the area.