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PESHAWAR: Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and briefed him over the ongoing Zarb-i-Azb operation, as the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Wednesday said airstrikes killed 35 suspected militants in North Waziristan tribal region. The death toll, however, could not be independently verified.

During the meeting, army chief General Raheel Sharif briefed the prime minister regarding details of the targets achieved, areas cleared and number of militants killed and arrested during the military operation.

Premier Sharif said that the the government would not rest until the return and rehabilitation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and all resources would be made available in this regard.

He commended the efforts of the military in the North Waziristan operation and paid tribute to soldiers who had sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.

The prime minister added that the military was fighting the war for the country's future, stability and peace and all their requirements would be fulfilled.

Fresh Waziristan blitz

The fresh air strikes occurred in Shawal area of North Waziristan region which is located at the border of North and South Waziristan and considered to be hub of terrorists.

"Today, early morning at least 35 fleeing terrorists were killed through aerial strikes in Shawal valley", a spokesman for ISPR said.

On the other hand security forces are making quick movements in Mir Ali area in order to completely eliminate terrorists sanctuaries and hideouts, to clear it from militants. However, they are facing stiff resistance from hiding militants. More air strikes are expected in Mir Ali area against the militants.

Moreover, at least four terrorists were killed while two soldiers embraced martyrdom in an exchange of fire which took place when the militants were trying to escape the attack.

One of the martyred soldiers included officer Capt Akash Rabbani.

Two other soldiers were injured during the firing in the area.

Sources said militants are using huge cache of arms and ammunition.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif paid a tribute to the martyred captain and said the nation is proud of Captain Akash Rabbani and his associates.

"Free and peaceful Pakistan will always remember the sacrifices of captain Akash and his comrades," PM said in a short statement issued early morning today.

"They have sacrificed their present for our future," Nawaz Sharif remarked.

The military operation named Zarb-i-Azb was launched by the Pakistan Army on June 15 following a brazen Taliban-claimed attack on Karachi's international airport and failure of peace talks between government and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan negotiators.

About 900,000 persons from North Waziristan tribal region have been displaced so far in the wake of the operation, according to figures released by the Fata Disaster Management Authority (FDMA).