PESHAWAR: Following massive airstrikes by Pakistani jet fighters in North Waziristan last night, Taliban militants met at an undisclosed location on Wednesday to reconsider a non-aggression treaty with the government.
A spokesman for Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur, who leads hundreds of fighters in the area, condemned the airstrikes that, according to Pakistani military officials, killed at least 60 militants and injured 30 others last night.
Ahmadullah Ahmadi said the group “cannot remain silent over bombardment on people,” calling it a clear atrocity on the civilians.
He said that the Shura (council) has convened this important meeting to assess the situation and hinted that the peace accord with the government might get revoked.
The spokesman warned that the government would be responsible for any destruction in case it did not stop the military offensive.
Pakistani warplanes and helicopters pounded militant hideouts in Mir Ali and Miramshah near the Afghan border, killing 60 fighters.
The Pakistan Army in a statement said “60 hard-core terrorists” including “important commanders and foreigners” were killed in the strikes, without providing further details, and that another 30 were wounded.
Intelligence reports and other investigations confirmed the linkage of some recent terrorist acts across the country with militants targeted in the strikes, said the ISPR statement.
One resident, who identified himself as Saeedullah Khan, said the army had also been firing artillery rounds since early morning.
Another resident, Inamullah, said the airstrikes destroyed several homes and nearby shops in Mir Ali's bazaar, causing civilian casualties.
The claims by the army and residents could not be independently verified. The lawless tribal area is off-limits to journalists.
Clash leaves 11 militants, four security personnel dead in N Waziristan
In a fresh clash between Pakistani security forces and Taliban militants, at least 11 terrorists were killed in Mir Ali of North Waziristan, said an ISPR spokesman on Wednesday.
Four security forces personnel including an officer were also killed in the clash, he added.
Waziristan is part of Pakistan's tribal region, which is home to Taliban and al Qaeda-linked foreign militants who have killed thousands of people.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been pursuing a policy of negotiation with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to end the violence, but those efforts have not yet yielded any results.
– Zahir Shah Sherazi contributed to the reporting of this story