80pc of Miramshah cleared, army says
ISLAMABAD: Major General Zafarullah Khan on Wednesday said that 80 per cent of Miramshah has been cleared during the North Waziristan operation, adding that outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur, if spotted, would be eliminated without any delay.
The general further said that evidence of Al Qaeda’s presence in the region was found and the army was still facing opposition from some areas.
The army official maintained that the civilian population was not targeted during the operation. This information, however, could not be independently verified.
Major General Zafarullah Khan is the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7th Infantry Division Miranshah, North Waziristan.
The general acknowledged that foreign and local militants were residing in the area.
Bahadur is known to have links with notorious militant groups in tribal North Waziristan, including the Haqqani network.
North Waziristan jet strikes kill 11 suspected militants
Jet fighters carried out airstrikes on suspected militant hideouts destroying three of them while 11 suspected militants were also killed earlier today during the Zarb-i-Azb operation in the North Waziristan tribal region, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) sources said.
The death toll, however, could not be independently verified.
First time since the launch of this operation, Miramshah, the main town in North Waziristan, was opened for national and international media as media personnel, particularly from the television networks, were allowed to take shots of several destroyed militant hideouts.
The army launched its long-awaited major operation 'Zarb-i-Azb' in the tribal region a week after an attack on the airport in Karachi, deploying troops, tanks and jets to the area in the crackdown on the Pakistani Taliban and other militants.
So far more than 400 suspected militants, mostly foreigners, have been killed during the operation while at least 19 (improvised explosive device) IED-making factories have also been unearthed by security forces in parts of Miramshah.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), some 62,251 families left North Waziristan in the wake of the military offensive.