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Some media reports suggested that the number of militants killed could be over 100, although this could not be independently verified. - Photo File
Some media reports suggested that the number of militants killed could be over 100, although this could not be independently verified. - Photo File
ISPR sources added that the suspected mastermind of Karachi airport attack had been killed during the operation. - Photo File
ISPR sources added that the suspected mastermind of Karachi airport attack had been killed during the operation. - Photo File

PESHAWAR: Fighter jets struck nearly eight militant hideouts in North Waziristan tribal region early on Sunday, killing over 50 suspected foreign militants, according to Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) sources.

ISPR sources added that the suspected mastermind of Karachi airport attack had been killed during the operation and a huge cache of arms and ammunition had been destroyed.

Strikes took place in the Boya tehsil, Degan forests and Datta Khel tehsil of North Waziristan.

The targets were the hideouts of foreign militants of Uzbek origin, sources said, adding that the hideouts of militants were completely destroyed in the strikes. Most of those killed during the operation were Uzbek militants.

However, local security officials put the death toll far higher, saying that about 150 militants died in the air strikes, which primarily targeted Uzbek fighters in a remote area of the tribal agency.

Among the dead were insurgents linked to last Monday's all-night siege of Karachi airport that killed 38 people, including 10 attackers, and all but destroyed a tentative peace process between the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) and the government.

The mountainous Dehgan area, some 25 kilometres (16 miles) west of the main town of Miranshah in North Waziristan, is a stronghold for Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants on the border with Afghanistan.

Read more: North Waziristan empties out as foreign fighters flee

“Today at about 0130 hours (2030 GMT), a number of terrorist hideouts in Dehgan, Datta Khel in North Waziristan were targeted by jet aircraft. Over 50 terrorists, mostly Uzbek foreigners, were killed in the strikes,” a statement from the Pakistani military said.

“There were confirmed reports of presence of foreign and local terrorists in these hideouts who were linked to the planning of the Karachi airport attack,” it said.

However local security officials in Miranshah, who spoke to AFP on the condition of anonymity, put the death toll far higher than the official toll.

“Up to 150 people were killed during the strikes early Sunday. These strikes were carried out based on confirmed reports about the presence of Uzbek and other militants in the area,” an intelligence official said.

Another security official said that “the number of the killed people was even more than 150”.

The military has not confirmed the higher figure.

However, the military statement said “an ammunition dump had also been destroyed during the strikes and that further details would follow”, suggesting the death toll could rise.

Pakistan under pressure

Pressure has been mounting on the government to launch a ground offensive in the Taliban-infested North Waziristan tribal district.

Following the brazen assault in Karachi, the US carried out two drone strikes in North Waziristan on Wednesday, the first time the controversial programme has been used this year.

The same day, air force jets pounded suspected militant hideouts, leaving at least 25 dead.

No precise number death toll from Sunday's air strikes was immediately available as they took place overnight in a remote location.

There were competing reports about the identity of those killed. But a second intelligence official in Miranshah told AFP that Uzbek fighters were targeted.

“Uzbek fighters had gathered in the area, they were taking rest when jets hit them,” he said, adding that hideouts of local Taliban and other foreign fighters were also targeted.

Both the Pakistani Taliban and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan - an Al-Qaeda affiliate mainly based in Pakistan's tribal belt - said Uzbek fighters took part in the Karachi airport assault.

Locals in Pakistan's tribal regions say some of the world's most feared fighters are quietly slipping away from the area in anticipation of an increase in military operations against them.

Rumours of a ground offensive in North Waziristan, one of seven tribal regions along the border, have abounded for years. But authorities have held back from a final push -- possibly fearing the blowback in major cities such as Karachi.

But the past week has seen a significant increase in air strikes and renewed drone attacks.

Washington reportedly suspended its drone programme in December to give Islamabad time to pursue peace talks with the TTP aimed at ending a seven-year insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives.

The dialogue resulted in a month-long ceasefire between March and April, but later broke down, with air strikes on suspected militant hideouts resuming in the tribal areas.

The army was widely seen as being opposed to the dialogue because of the heavy casualties it has sustained at the hands of the TTP, which views them as a mercenary force serving foreign interests.

But following the breakdown of the talks and the Karachi attack, observers believe both civil and military authorities are converging on the need for more concerted action.

Comments (100) Closed

Some Jun 15, 2014 02:52am

Good job pk airforce! Bomb them to the ground. These should be done more frequently.

shoaib niazi Jun 15, 2014 02:55am

Imagine if these terrorists have been living in islamabad somehow ....we would never ever had used this sort of strike coz this doesnot discriminate between the innocent and guity :(

Khalid Jun 15, 2014 03:00am

Pakistan Armed Forces will eliminate those militants from our soil, hopefully. Keep up the good work!

shoaib niazi Jun 15, 2014 03:00am

Had our system been strong enough, we would have captured these militants while freely moving in our cities

Noman Jun 15, 2014 03:27am

Perfect action PAF... Please do more and kill them before they escape from our land.

A Jun 15, 2014 03:28am

Excellent work. Don't spare one of them as they have killed our innocent beloved countrymen. Keep striking hard.

mohammad Akhtar Jun 15, 2014 03:35am

Subhan Allah, keep wiping out these killer taliban until you finish the last one.

Hamid Jun 15, 2014 03:50am

This won't make Pakistan situation anything better but escalate the crisis even more. Wait for few more days for the retaliation from TTP in any big city of Pakistan when more innocent lives will be lost.

Afzal Jun 15, 2014 03:51am

Instead of aerial bombing the army should chase them on foot to make sure no innocent ppl are killed. These selected attacks will not achieve anything long term! The militants will just come back!

Hussain Jun 15, 2014 03:52am

Show them no mercy...

Asad kiyani Jun 15, 2014 03:53am

@shoaib niazi And what if these people were living in isl and there were no writ of the state to arrest or question them the result would have been the same drone them or bomb them. Well done Pak Air Force

Ek Brit Jun 15, 2014 04:02am

Give them same dose everyday!!bravo PAF

S. A. M. Jun 15, 2014 04:03am

How they can be so sure that all the militant's jideouts have been destroyed?

if they knew so precisely about there hiding places why not took action earlier?

Why did they wait for the airport episode to have taken place?

Even now it does not seem to be an operation similar to the one in Swat.

So goes between the lines.

Sohail Jun 15, 2014 04:06am

@shoaib niazi . if they were in Islamabad, and then military would hv cordons them n killed. It is not safe for our army to deep into the difficult terrane and cordon them. Why r u confusing real situation with imagenary one.

acer Jun 15, 2014 04:16am

Oh Allah help us! Wonder whats coming next as retaliation in poor old karachi.

Mustafa J. Jun 15, 2014 04:41am

Well-done brave Pakistan Air Force bombers and your commanders. May Allah reward you for your valuable services to Pakistan by attacking and killing deadly and ruthless enemies of Pakistan.

Goga Nalaik Jun 15, 2014 04:47am

An hour ago, it was reported on different tv channels that 150 or more Uzbek terrorists have been killed in these air raids by the Pakistan Air Force. This number is likely to increase. It is also reported that the master mind of Karachi airport attack has also been killed.

Congratulations to all Pakistanis and Bravo to Pak Air Force for this great achievement.

I'm going to have a very good night sleep and a Great day tomorrow!


Jamal Syed Jun 15, 2014 05:04am

@shoaib niazi well they are not living in Islamabad. And living in Waziristan for past two decades enjoying full local support. So about time that something needs to be done about them.

Egyptian in US Jun 15, 2014 05:43am

@shoaib niazi if the Jets don't kill the terrorists, then they will the innocents anyway. Eitherway the innocents will die. But this is a better way eradicate the pest. Look at Iraq, innocents are fleeing from Mosul!! If you want to see NW, your argument will be correct.

Amir Jun 15, 2014 05:53am

Keep up the pressure boys. This is the only language these murderers understand.

khan usafzai Jun 15, 2014 06:00am

there is a big question mark on the figures of how many of those 100 were terrorists and common innocent civilians. Historically the number of civilians causalties has out numbers the militants ... BOMBING with jets in own country is nothing to be proud off. if they have courage they should go and hunt down the real culprits ...

ghufran dawar Jun 15, 2014 06:15am

Stand on your feet and think properly mr some: our people have been affected by this bombarment.

Mir Jun 15, 2014 06:20am

Kill the evil and its supporters . Please up root them . There should be no Mercy for them. They are deserved to be distroyed .

S. Tanwir Hasan Jun 15, 2014 06:24am

@shoaib niazi These strikes are always in this world happen at militants hideouts in difficult terrain from where these creatures operate. Why anyone imagine that these should be hiding in Islamabad or any other city in such a large number where these could be easily arrested by police or military action. History has no such case.

Raza Jun 15, 2014 06:42am

Who gave shelter and provide logistic support , he is equally deserve same treatment. ....

Vikram Jun 15, 2014 06:45am

Some government agency brought these people to do Jihad in the first place. Now another branch of government is killing them to show Pakistan is serious about Jihadis.

Now one is crying about collateral damage. It is just a game by powerful people.

Ali Shah Jun 15, 2014 06:53am

Some other media reports suggest that after the jet strikes curfew has been imposed. If true then this is very disturbing since first the PAF inflicts casualties (Which will definitely have civilian casualties) and then they don't even allow those people to get help.

Ahmer Jun 15, 2014 07:01am

@shoaib niazi Do not compare a civilized city with that abode of animals.

Ali Akhtar (Multan) Jun 15, 2014 07:13am

Long Live PAF - the Protectors of Pakistan.

ikram Jun 15, 2014 07:29am


Freeman Jun 15, 2014 07:33am

@shoaib niazi yes it is extremly painfull that some innocents too have to pay the price of such strikes but the problem is thousands of innocents are already dying in the hands of terrorists and we dont have a better way to deal with these snakes.

Manish Jun 15, 2014 07:40am

good job, kill all

matteroffact Jun 15, 2014 07:42am

Aaaaah ! A fresh impetus to my hopes. Thanx Pak Forces.

Syed Hussain Raza Jun 15, 2014 08:01am

This is what these terrorists deserve.

Rhazes Jun 15, 2014 08:05am

@shoaib niazi good thing people like you are not in the decision making circles. Only good for protests and stuff

Afgna Jun 15, 2014 08:08am

pakistanis must stop killing innocent civilians !! if it would have drone strike then no one would cry!!

Afgna Jun 15, 2014 08:08am

@Ali Akhtar (Multan) its will make more unsecure

Afgna Jun 15, 2014 08:09am

@Some innocent killer its more than mass muderer

Afgna Jun 15, 2014 08:10am

@shoaib niazi think if bomb would have drop on your house then you will become terrorist!!!

zobia khan Jun 15, 2014 08:17am

@shoaib niazi Why don't they move to Islamabad and find out? If they went around the town like thugs there would be no need for airstrikes they would be picked up by the police.

What do you suggest? we go talk them, arrest them then bring them before a judge? And will you be the witness? There is ample precedent in history. Muhammad bin Qasim was sent to eradicate pirates. Was there a trial of the pirates? Do we know their names?

Husain Jan Jun 15, 2014 08:31am

@Some Good job, yes..but what about those who are already in Karachi in big numbers ? Media has pin pointed the areas where the terrorists are living but no action so far.

Ahmed Khawaja Jun 15, 2014 08:41am

@shoaib niazi No, because Islamabad is an urban city, not a mountainous region where extremists are hiding in remote areas. Please stop making jaahil comments and suggestions of discrimination.

Waqar Khan Jun 15, 2014 08:48am

@shoaib niazi These militants can't live in Islamabad or any other part of the Pakistan, since all the area is under the government rule. We (Pakistani) are idiots for being so upset over the drones or the Paki jets that are flashing these terrorist out our country. These terrorist use that area to plan the attacks as well get the training....There should be a loud call to all the people living there to clean the area by the due date, and once after....the area should be flashed out...and entry should be only possible after a search so there is no more terrorist live in that area. The people of that area should be warned, not to let anyone in, or give them a hotline, where they can call in and report just terrorists in the area. Taliban was a bad idea to start with, now Pakistan should not let any other country use it people, or brainwash its kids to take up arms.....

Ali Jun 15, 2014 08:50am

Good job, really proud of my PAF

Fahad Jun 15, 2014 08:51am

@shoaib niazi

But they wouldnt have been living openly in islamabad, we would have killed them. Stop being an apologist for terrorists.

AA Jun 15, 2014 09:07am

@shoaib niazi These terrorist every where in Pakistan. Every day they plot against the state. Remember how many time Islamabad police find bomb in this year.

Saeed Jun 15, 2014 09:07am

Finish off these criminals for good. PAF Zindabad.

Ammar Jun 15, 2014 09:20am

@shoaib niazi

If these terrorist live in Islamabad, Bomb Islamabad also, I dont care... Terrorists should be eliminated.

kazan Jun 15, 2014 09:50am

We want them all killed. Also those who are hiding in the mountains. Kill them all.

Uroo Saifi Jun 15, 2014 10:07am

Now send soldiers to rake over the area before someone else fills the vacuum - enough is enough now it's time to be responsible in saving the country.

Salman Qureshi Jun 15, 2014 10:28am

Strikes should be followed by aggressive ground action. Denying space to terrorists in Wahziristan and killing the leadership should be the objectives. We must keep example of Iraq in mind, where terrorists have now captures a big city.So action against terrorists is a need of time and must go ahead sooner.

Sunil Jun 15, 2014 10:33am

What is the different between Pakistan air force aerial strike and US drone strikes in Wazirstan, that the Pakistan government has been grumbling at the US drone strikes.

uxman Jun 15, 2014 10:39am

Good Job PAF eliminate them all Pakistan Zindabad!!

NORI Jun 15, 2014 10:49am

Just wondering whether there was any collateral damage during air raids ? I think there was. Then, is it Ok if the damage was caused by PAF ?

Amir Jun 15, 2014 10:55am

Job well done

dr vimal raina Jun 15, 2014 10:58am

Killing Uzbek militants is kosher. The rest are good Taliban.

Sandeep Jun 15, 2014 10:59am

You are just making your own land in more trouble ...... these are cold blood animals . they have nothing to loose and don't have any visible identiy or group of army . because of this action in upcoming days more people from across the Afghanistan will come to Pakistan to attack and obbivously common people will die with suicide bombing ,

Only 2 way you can bring peace is dialouge and reconcilation these unemployed armed man ......

Shamoon Ahmad Jun 15, 2014 11:10am

Thousands have died and more will continue to die if enemy is not destroyed. So don't be afraid of retaliation, death is waiting around the corner anyway. So far we are getting killed like a sitting duck, however, now security forces are fighting back to protect us. It is a war and we have to be prepared to take the risk, including the risk of retaliation, but to have a terror free Pakistan, Pakistan has to be cleansed from terrorists.

Samad Chaudhry Jun 15, 2014 11:14am

Well done These terrorist should be dealt with full force anywhere and everywhere in Pakistan

Samad Chaudhry Jun 15, 2014 11:16am

@Hamid Do not promote these terrorist They must be eliminated to give the ordinary Pakistani a chance to live peacefully

Samad Chaudhry Jun 15, 2014 11:17am

@shoaib niazi Get rid of them any where

Ghalib Jun 15, 2014 11:26am

Good, but much more needed, do not let them escape full army operation required.

Samir Jun 15, 2014 11:28am

@shoaib niazi you can never fight a war. unless you stare the enemy in the eye, it will never step down. with so many civilians they have killed in rest of pakistan; it doesnt suit them to play the civilian card.

Samir Jun 15, 2014 11:28am

@Hamid thank you for your analysis. what is your solution?

Safar Shah Jun 15, 2014 11:49am

@shoaib niazi people of islamabad do not provide sanctuary to terrorists, criminals and kidnappers. People of waziristan do provide them sanctuary. Stop providing the criminals sanctuary and the bombing will stop.

Junaid Jun 15, 2014 11:59am

Instead of carpet bombing, it would be more meaningful to capture them and find out their future plans and the extent of their penetration into society. Cant beat suicide bombers by bombing them. Army kills few militants, militants blow a few bombs and the games continue.

raja hindustani Jun 15, 2014 12:00pm

Why pakistan waited till attack on karachi airport to strike these terrorists? These terrorists might have been staying inside pakistan for last many months/years.

AD Jun 15, 2014 12:07pm

Congratulations! But, the claims cannot be independently verified! Do we have any option other than to believe what we are made to believe? Our army should enter these areas, capture the ones escaping, collect their corpses for identification and make their check posts so that they do not return. There should be rehabilitation programs for their wives and children. Also, I hope and pray that there was no collateral damage.

Doctors can think Jun 15, 2014 12:12pm

@Hamid its better to die with fighting them. Believe me they will come to terms soon. They are coward people. They can not fight the army or airforce even if backed by their home countries.

Ravi Dallas TX Jun 15, 2014 12:17pm

I think Pakistan govt is also answerable to Pakistani citizens and to the world on why they waited these many years before they take action, and why so many innocents had to die... And how many more will have to die before they make this full scale operation?

Safdar Jun 15, 2014 12:19pm

I hope our civil defence services are ready to deal with the reactionary strikes...What we saw during airport attack was a complete failure of rescue services...

Asif Naeem Bhatti Jun 15, 2014 12:26pm

why couldnt this be done before the attack on Karachi?

kaka Jun 15, 2014 12:26pm

MashaAllah......keep it up.

ALi Jun 15, 2014 12:27pm

its a dark day for Muslims we are killing our own brothers Islam is about peace not killing each other i don't know what these terrorists are trying to achieve by killing innocent people air strikes were last option but it had to be done i wish there was any other way out of it .

Raja waserm kiyani Jun 15, 2014 12:51pm

More targeted operation of precise Hitting/bombing, should be done. Bomb them all once and for all, No doubt we have to sacrifice for that....

w. Jun 15, 2014 01:12pm

It is time to ask for world community help -- Pakistan need to lease some drones from USA ETC. and also some helicopters with night vision from Uzbeckistan, Russia, China, USA, UK. France etc.. These operations need to be carried out 24/7 -- attacks not need to be slowed or paused -if 'so called talks' to continue.. Talks should have one point agenda -- 'terms of surrender to the Govt. of Pakistan. ' Taking up arms against the state and one need discussion ?

A Pakistani Jun 15, 2014 01:22pm

Excellent job. However, questions arises. Why our security forces don't eliminate those terrorists? Why our security forces are only reactive, not proactive? No foreigner, no matter how peaceful they are, should be allowed to stay in Pakistan without proper permission of Pakistan authorities. Apparently our system is not working or still we are not serious in this regard.

Ayesha Jun 15, 2014 01:28pm

Excellent job. The militants and their attacks must have been spectacular against the US forces, but Pakistani forces stand out. Keep it up!!!!!

Mujtaba Jun 15, 2014 02:04pm

The war has Started. The end of Militants in Pakistan is coming soon

Zaheer Jun 15, 2014 02:52pm

Ten Uzbeks attacked Karachi Airport and almost all of Uzbeks living in N. Wazirustan were destroyed by Pak Forces a few days after the attack. Pak Forces did an excellent job wiping them out. They deserved to be destroyed like that. But my question is that why the same standard is not being applied to TTP and LeJ and other terrorists who have been responsible for killing thousands of innocent Pakistanis. If the same standard had been applied for TTP and LeJ and other terrorists living in Pakistan along with their supporters, Pakistan would have gotten rid of all the terrorists and Pakistan would have been one of the safest places to live in the world. Terrorists need to be dealt harshly and that is the only language they understand.

Ajamal Jun 15, 2014 03:01pm

Where are the photographs, names and IDs of those killed? Why should we believe ISPR which has question marks over its credibility?

Ajamal Jun 15, 2014 03:03pm

@Waqar Khan : Were those 10 Uzbeks not living in Karachi that attacked the airport??

Ganga Din Jun 15, 2014 03:21pm

Uzbeks? How do you identify them from air? Let's see what happens?

Pak Jun 15, 2014 03:33pm

the only paper under reporting the number of killed militants being Dawn naturally. None of the media reports or official figures could be verified yet everyone else continues to report the number killed as much higher, in fact double what you have just reported.

El Cid Jun 15, 2014 04:12pm

@Ayesha :"Excellent job. The militants and their attacks must have been spectacular against the US forces, but Pakistani forces stand out. Keep it up!!!!!"

Yes Pakistani forces do stand out. Dropping bombs on civilian homes is brave indeed. On tough job but someone has to do it. Give it a rest. No freedom fighter was killed. Only their old parents and young children.

Zubair Jun 15, 2014 04:20pm

who knows it is true or not...only bluff....the area where there where strikes....almost 36000 had vacated already....

daniel shiger Jun 15, 2014 04:23pm

Why to wait for another incident like Karachi airport before you kill them. There should be non stop bombing and before you do so, the whole area from outside should be surrounded by army to ensure no one runs. Whole country should be cleansed from foreign elements.

Sid Jun 15, 2014 04:27pm

awesome!! great job!! make it more awesome pls by adding another zero to the reported figure! :D

Hussain Jun 15, 2014 04:38pm

the strange thing in Pakistan is that what ever is reported from the ISPR people believe in if a CNN reporter can go to the war front with american forces why dont our media has the courage to with them to confirm what has really happened i never believe in ISPR releases and intellegence reports from the troubled areas of FATA because these attacks are carried out based on the same intelligence so how can one contradict his own reports even if is not true

Ikram Jun 15, 2014 04:42pm

This is a fight for our independence. These terrorists want to take our country back to the stone ages, we can't let that happen. Every Pakistani needs to support the army.

Adil Farooq Jun 15, 2014 06:25pm

How do they know that those killed are the masterminds of the Karachi attacks? and if they were, then that means they knew which terrorists are hiding where? shouldn't action have been taken before? Either way, great job! keep it up. more frequency required plz!

Adil Farooq Jun 15, 2014 06:35pm

Well done Pakistan Airforce. Let them Not sleep at night.

Basit Ali Jun 15, 2014 07:08pm

Had the Pak government ordered the elimination of these hideouts, which for sure the intelligence agencies must have known about for quite sometime, the attack on Karachi airport and possibly, the mass attacks on civilians in China, would never have taken place. The war against TTP/IMU/ETIM/Al Qaeda must be conducted pro-actively. So far, our government lets them attack us, and then responds with uncertain effect. This must be reversed. Like scared rabbits, our people wait for their slaughter at the hands of these terrorists, and then our government reacts feebly. What are we waiting for? That what is happening in Iraq? Have courage Mr. Prime Minister, and launch a full-spectrum campaign against TTP and its affiliated terrorists!

Javed Jun 15, 2014 07:23pm

Bomb the hideout of punjabi taliban, they are the most vicious of all.

Geo Geo Jun 15, 2014 07:39pm

@Ali Shah Yep sure you may go HELP em

Qasim Jun 15, 2014 07:55pm

I don't understand why the Uzbeks are so easy to brainwash. Mentally disturbed terrorists.

Shahid Khan Jun 16, 2014 08:56am

@shoaib niazi I respect your feeling. I am sure that Pak Army will be sensitive about this issue. We are facing an enemy who is bent on taking us back in the stone age through sheer VIOLENCE and wrong interpretation of our Beloved Religion. The whole International Community is scared from these barbarians. We have to respond with all our resources to save our nation. Considering this grand situation, any reasonable and logical law abiding Pak citizen would leave North Waziristan ASAP.

google Jun 16, 2014 02:54pm

@Goga Nalaik

Around 150 Uzbek people killed ? What are so many foreign people doing here ? Can anyone just come to Pakistan and start doing nonsense activities ? What the heck the govt is doing against this illegal immigration ?

Shash Jun 16, 2014 02:59pm

@acer Live like a tiger. At this point, Dont worry what comes next otherwise you will become weak now

Balu Jun 17, 2014 02:31pm

The Militants should be arrested and tried in a court. The rule of law should prevail. Killing them should not be an option.