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— File photo
— File photo

KHYBER AGENCY: In response to the militant attack on a polio team in Jamrud which left at least 11 dead on Saturday, security forces’ personnel launched a massive assault Sunday morning on militant hideouts in parts of Bara and destroyed a number of them.

Security sources confirmed that gunship helicopters struck the headquarters of Mullah Tamanchey involved in the attack on polio workers.

The Ayubi Markaz of Mullah Tamanchey in Bara was destroyed in the airstrikes whereas five suspected militants were killed, the sources said.

Gunship helicopters also targeted militant hideouts in Kalanga and surrounding areas and a number of them were destroyed.

The strikes came only a day after the Pakistani Taliban declared a one-month ceasefire to pursue stalled peace talks with the government.

“The government is not going to tolerate any act of terror and any act will be replied to,” said a Pakistani security official who asked not to be identified.

Hours after the attack on the convoy, the Taliban had said they would observe a one-month ceasefire to try to revive peace talks that failed last month. It also called on other militant groups to observe the ceasefire.

A government negotiator told Reuters they were open to restarting peace talks as long as the Taliban and its affiliates honoured the ceasefire.

Tahir Ashrafi, head of the country's largest alliance of clerics, said that the Taliban should release kidnap victims, safeguard polio workers and produce the bodies of slain paramilitary forces to demonstrate their sincerity.

The government should release suspected militants from prison if there was no evidence against them, he said.

The Pakistani Taliban, an alliance of militant groups, says it is fighting to overthrow the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and replace it with a state ruled under strict Islamic law.

Sharif has been pursuing peace talks since he was elected in May. Soon after the talks finally began on Feb 6, the Taliban bombed a police bus in Karachi, killing 13 people.

The talks foundered days later when a Taliban faction claimed to have killed 23 paramilitary forces. The same night the military began bombing areas in the northwest that it said were militant hideouts.

In recent weeks speculation has been mounting that the military would launch a ground operation in North Waziristan, a tribal region along the border with Afghanistan.

North Waziristan has long been regarded as stronghold for Afghan Taliban factions, the affiliated Haqqani group, and al Qaeda, as well as the Pakistani Taliban.

US generals serving in Afghanistan have often complained that Pakistan, while fighting the Pakistani Taliban, has allowed other militant groups to have safe havens in its tribal regions.

Some analysts have speculated that the Pakistani Taliban's offer of a ceasefire is aimed at stalling an operation in North Waziristan.

Mullah Tamanchey, the target of Sunday's bombing, is the leader of a small militant faction affiliated with the Taliban and opposed polio vaccination. Some militants say the health campaign is a cover for spying or a plot to sterilize Muslims.

Comments (24) Closed

wizarat Mar 02, 2014 10:55am

Keep up the good work, this is the only language they understand.

S. Imam Mar 02, 2014 11:15am

I don't understand. If our security forces know the hideouts of terrorists than why they wait for them to murder innocent and than strike their hideouts. Why not make preemptive strikes and finish them off before they strike.

Tit for Tat Mar 02, 2014 12:44pm

Good job Pak Army. Don't be distracted by the TTP's one month ceasefire offer. This is an eye wash and a time gaining and regrouping tactic. Hit them hard as soon as they carry out any attack. Response must be swift and painful. Inflict heavy damages to those who do not believe in the writ of government.

Don't stop air strikes until terrorists declare unconditional surrender.

Immad Mar 02, 2014 01:19pm

Long live Pak Army. The whole nation is with our army to eradicate the menace of Taliban terrorists and their supporters.

Tanveer Khan Mar 02, 2014 01:54pm

Great response to the butchering of innocent workers. Now, let's get proactive and attack these animals before they launch their attacks.

Hatim shah Mar 02, 2014 03:29pm

Excellent work!

We don't want cease fire we want unconditional surrender and return Talibans back to humanity and civilization if tolerance

Don't stop now kill or mullah responsible for the heinous attack on children

AR Mar 02, 2014 04:00pm

Just want to say Thank you Pakistan forces.

kaka Mar 02, 2014 04:05pm

Well will be stupidity on the part of Govt. to stop operation now they only looking some time to rearrange their network which is badly destroyed by our long live Air Force curse upon them and their forefathers taking foreign aids and supporting them with their fatwas...

Akram Mar 02, 2014 04:56pm

Pak Fauj, tu Zindabad. Pakistan Paindabad.

kaka Mar 02, 2014 05:07pm

@S. Imam: they need to learn american theory of pre-emptive strikes.

Ayesha Khan Mar 02, 2014 05:46pm

@S. Imam: It is not possible for our military forces to adopt extreme measures and strike the militants all at once, The hideouts of these terrorists are also not known to the authorities as they keep shifting from one place to another, moreover, sudden attacks, on all the terrorists can be very risky as innocent, people are also among them. Our intelligence first make sure that the lives of the innocent civilians are safe and only the culprits are targeted.

amir Mar 02, 2014 05:52pm

Pak Forces - Keep the heat on and don't hold back - These animals only understand one language. We must not and should not negotiate with these barbarians, they came running to negotiate now to buy some time to catch their breath and regroup. All mullah parties and Imran Khans of our world must shut the hell up and let the Armed forces do their job and eridicate these animals from our land once and for all. A tactical nuke may not be a bad idea at this time and perhaps put all the mullah in that region at the time of strike so they can join their taliban brothers in hell (somehow they think and believe they are going to Junnah after murdering innocent people including women and childern). Long live Pak Armed Forces!!

Proud pakistani Mar 02, 2014 06:27pm

Keep on going with the air strikes. We wants unconditional surrender of the terrorists. This is our country and we will protect its borders and the constitution.

Shaikh Mohommd Mar 02, 2014 06:49pm

Pakistan should get out of American war on terror. More operations will result in more civilian casualties which in turn will create more hatred against the Armed forces. Hold fire, I say, before it is too late. Continuing this conflict without an end in sight will benefit America whose main interest is to create mayhem in our country. We should say NO to American war on terror and look after the interest of Pakistan and Pakistan alone. When it is perceived that American writ does not work in Pakistan, everyone will live in peace.

Muhammad Farooq Mar 02, 2014 07:57pm

@Shaikh Mohommd: Thank you for giving some many good pieces of advice to Government of Pakistan, do you any piece of good advice left for TTP? How can any govt tolerate killing of anti-polio vaccination teams??

Muhammad Farooq Mar 02, 2014 08:00pm

It will not be wise to be deceived by their promise of ceasefire. They are only asking time to re-group. This is the time to take them out and bring them to their knees. This is the time to teach them a lesson of their lives before the end of winter. I want to assure the Govt that every sensible Pakistani is praying for the success of armed forces in this fight against mass murderers.

Salim A Mar 02, 2014 08:29pm

@Shaikh Mohommd: Why don't you ask your terrorist brothers to stop killing innocent people in Pakistan. Killing polio workers is murder. We want all terrorists eliminated from Pakistan. GO AWAY!!!

Salim A Mar 02, 2014 08:33pm

Why are the armed forces reacting to terrorist attacks. Why not take pre-emptive action before they kill innocent citizens.

independentthinker Mar 03, 2014 01:42am

Rather than "in response to" - let us be the instigators! Let us lead in inflicting casualties on these insurgents. Let us be "proactive" - instead of "reactive". Only if we lead in eliminating these Talibans, can we truly achieve success and let our people live in peace and security.

Tit for Tat Mar 03, 2014 09:41am

@Ayesha Khan: You are right but one cannot stop collateral damages. These terrorists need to be handled with iron hand. A time will come when they will surrender or Pak Army will send them to the "highway to haven."

Tai Rakena Mar 03, 2014 02:50pm

Bit sad all this killing no? Specially since we are all Muslims. Pakistan is the only country created because of Islam, yet Muslims in Pakistan are killing fellow Muslim brothers. You guys should be promoting brotherhood amongst Muslims not killing each other. What is wrong with you????

Raja Islam Mar 05, 2014 01:52am

@Shaikh Mohommd: It is the writ of the Pakistani government that is being challenged. the government shoul not take this lightly and should take all efforts necessary to eliminate the Taliban from the soil of Pakistan.

independentthinker Mar 05, 2014 01:56am

@Tai Rakena: Instead of asking "what is wrong with you" - you should ask the same question from yourself! These terrorists have hijacked our religion and are causing terror around the globe.

Burhan Mar 05, 2014 09:17pm

@Shaikh Mohommd: The army should not stop till the beasts surrender, tried and punished or eliminated to make others lives livable. Ignorance and jahalath kee bhee hud hothi jai. Zindabad Fauji operation however soft it is now