ISLAMABAD: After clearance of Miramshah, Boya and Degan areas from terrorists, Pakistani military on Sunday claimed that 70 per cent of Mirali town along with its neighbouring villages – the second largest stronghold of militants – has been cleared by the security forces.
“Operation Zarb-i-Azb continues to achieve its objectives and is progressing well in North Waziristan,” a spokesman for Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.
This information, however, could not be independently verified.
Two huge ammunition factories with ammunition stock were recovered as house to house search continues in the area, said the spokesman.
He said that 30 barrels filled with explosives and chemicals used for making IEDs were also recovered from two large underground tunnels during clearance of Mirali.
“A massive IED, weighing 5,000 kilos was recovered from Boya, and was diffused by the expert Counter IED team of Army Engineers. Later when detonated, it shook the entire agency and the explosion was heard as far as settled area,” said the ISPR spokesman.
He claimed that a total of 570 terrorists have been killed since the start of Zarb-i-Azb operation. 98 terrorist hideouts and 30 IED factories, three ammunition making factories and a number of suicide bomber training centres were destroyed during Operation.
Huge cache of arms, communication equipment, propaganda literature have also been recovered, said the statement, adding that 34 security forces personnel have embraced shahadat (martyrdom) during the operation in North Waziristan Agency alone.
Nearly a million people have fled the offensive in North Waziristan, which is aimed at wiping out longstanding militant strongholds in the area, which borders Afghanistan.
Tens of thousands of families have left for the town of Bannu, close to North Waziristan, while hundreds more have moved further afield to the towns of Lakki Marwat, Karak and Dera Ismail Khan since the Operation Zarb-i-Azb began in mid-June.