- ISPR says commander among 11 terrorists killed in Tuesday’s action
- Reiterates army’s resolve to ‘completely eliminate’ terrorists sanctuaries in NWA
- Says 28 soldiers have lost their lives so far while forces have killed 451 terrorists and destroyed 88 hideouts
- Minister denies military running affairs, says all matters including IDPs are under civilian control
Five soldiers, including a captain, were killed and six others injured as Pakistan Army troops launched a ground operation in Mirali tehsil on North Waziristan Agency (NWA), as the top military spokesman reiterated the army’s resolve to “completely eliminate” terrorists sanctuaries and hideouts from the restive tribal region.
“Five soldiers, including Captain Akash, embraced shahadat (martyrdom) and six others were injured in exchange of fire with terrorists in two different incidents in Mirali,” the military said in a statement.
It said 11 “terrorists” were also killed. The area is off-limits to journalists, so the number and identity of those killed cannot be verified independently. A security official said that the army had begun ground operations in the Mirali and Dattakhel areas on Monday.
Meanwhile in a press briefing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Asim Bajwa said that 451 terrorists have been killed so far whereas 88 hideouts have been destroyed. He also said that 28 soldiers have lost their lives.
Bajwa said that a ground operation in Mir Ali has started and terrorist commander Matiullah was among 11 fighters who were killed in Tuesday’s action. Terrorists put up resistance when forces penetrated the area, however 11 surrendered, he added.
The DG ISPR also added that 80 per cent of Miramshah has been cleared by the security forces.
Bajwa said, “North Waziristan had become a hub of terrorism where several terrorist networks were based and had been operating for a long time.”
“Terrorists used to brainwash suicide bombers while recruiting them in North Waziristan.”
RELIEF FOR IDPs:
The DG ISPR appreciated the country’s efforts to facilitate the IDPs and said relief supplies were coming in large quantities for the displaced persons.
He said many people were giving cash donations as a result of which Rs 675 million had been collected by the Pakistan Army. The DG ISPR assured that it would reach the displaced persons.
Bajwa was accompanied by the Federal Minister for State and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch.
Baloch said the government had been sincere in holding talks with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) till the very last moment but it was the Taliban who carried out terrorists attacks and violated the ceasefire.
He also brushed aside suggestions that the military was running affairs, and said all matters including Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are under civilian control. He added that the military is only assisting the civilian administration in Bannu.