MIRAMSHAH: Fifteen suspected terrorists were killed when army’s cobra helicopters bombed and shelled Zartatangi mountain heights, east of Miramshah, on Wednesday night, says a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Thursday.

It said the attack was launched after terrorists were spotted in the area which is reputed to be one of their main communication centres.

In a separate action troops killed eight Uzbeks when they were planting explosive devices on the Miramshah-Mirali road.

According to ISPR, troops have cordoned off all areas in North Waziristan to foil attempts by terrorists to flee the tribal agency.

Evacuation of people from Miramshah and Ghulam Khan started on Thursday.

The statement said checkposts had been set up at various points where displaced people were being provided administrative support, food items and medicines by security forces.

The number of registration points at the Saidgai checkpost has been increased to 20 — 10 each for men and women — for the speedy and organised evacuation.

A camp for displaced people has already been set up in Bannu.

The number of registered displaced families has reached 7,031 comprising over 100,000 people.

An official said only eight families had registered themselves at the Bakakhel camp.

The administration relaxed curfew for three days on Wednesday for evacuation of stranded people.

Officials told our correspondent in Parachinar that some families from North Waziristan had entered Kurram Agency via Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Taliban leader Hafiz Gul Bahadur announced on Thursday to launch a ‘defensive war’ from Friday.

His spokesman Ahamdullah Ahmadi told Dawn on phone from an unspecified place that the Shura North Waziristan Agency had never been part of the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

He said the purpose of the ‘defensive war’ was to avoid losses.

He said the Shura had not allowed the TTP to use the soil of North Waziristan for its activities.

Our Correspondent from Karak adds: Hundreds of displaced families have arrived in different areas of Karak district.

District health officer Dr Daraz Khattak told reporters that two polio-infected children were among the IDPs from North Waziristan.

He said the health department had made elaborate arrangements to protect local children from polio virus.

The department has informed the provincial health department that one polio case was detected in the district in September, 1999.

The officer informed Dawn that the health department had set up vaccination camps at all entry points to administer polio drops to children coming with displaced families.

Published in Dawn, June 20th, 2014

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