PESHAWAR: Military jets and artillery pounded alleged militant hideouts in North Waziristan, killing 18 foreign and local insurgents in a massive ongoing offensive against the Taliban, officials said Sunday.
Air strikes were carried out in Mosaki area, 25 kilometres (15 miles) east of Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan on Sunday while artillery shelled militant hideouts in Kharkamar area, 30 kilometres west of Miranshah on Saturday night.
“Six terrorist hideouts and a huge ammunition cache were destroyed and at least 13 militants, most of them Uzbeks, were killed in the Saturday morning strikes,” a security official told AFP.
A local intelligence official confirmed the raids and militant casualties.
More than 400 militants and 20 soldiers have been killed in the offensive so far, according to the military. The area is largely off-limits to journalists and the number and identity of the dead is impossible to verify.
Jets pound militant sanctuaries in Mir Ali
Pakistani fighter jets struck militant hideouts around the Mir Ali Tehsil of North Waziristan Agency earlier today, officials said. This information, however, could not be independently verified as journalists do not have access to most of the agency.
Official sources said that a number of terrorist sanctuaries were destroyed in the raids and also stated that a huge quantity of arms and ammunition has been destroyed in the strikes. They added that at least five bases have been destroyed.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that a large number of militants have also been killed, but there was no specific number.
Sources told Dawn that soldiers will move into Mir Ali only after all hideouts are destroyed and terrorists are killed. It is believed that fleeing terrorists are planting IEDs in various parts of the agency.
Forces posted on security posts along the Pak-Afghan border have also been heavily equipped and have been ordered to give a fitting response in case of a cross border attack by Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants.
On Saturday, the ISPR said security forces continued consolidation of Miramshah and Miramshah-Dattakhel road.
It said that six prepared motorcycle-borne IEDs, two vehicle-borne IEDs, two 12.7mm and one 14.5mm guns, three vehicles, 11 suicide jackets and a large number of arms and ammunition were seized over the past 24 hours in Khar Warsak, near Degan.
The ISPR said militants had fired rockets on a security checkpost in Mirali from inside Mirali town. Thirteen militants were killed and seven hideouts destroyed in pre-dawn air strikes.
Most of the terrorists killed were foreigners, it said.