RAWALPINDI: In a series of tweets, Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asim Bajwa on Saturday marked a year since the launch of Operation Zarb-i-Azb with an overview of significant achievements.
While the information shared by the military's public relations wing cannot be independently verified, the short statement today said that so far 2,763 suspected terrorists have been killed in the North Waziristan operation. It added that 837 hideouts have been destroyed and 253 tons of explosives have been recovered.
He said that militant strongholds, communications infra structure and sanctuaries were cleared on a large scale in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), including North Waziristan and Khyber agencies.
He said that thousands of suspected terrorists and their abettors had been apprehended whereas ‘218 hardcore terrorists’ were killed in around 9,000 intelligence-based-operations (IBOs). Maj Gen Bajwa added that 347 military personnel had also lost their lives during the operation.
Giving details of the search operations conducted in militant hideouts North Waziristan agency he said that 18,087 weapons including heavy machine guns (HMGs), light machine guns (LMGs), sniper rifles, rocket launchers and AK-47 rifles had been recovered during the past one year.
The ISPR chief said that, “the entire nation came together to eliminate terrorism from Pakistan. The media and civil societ played a positive role to help end the menace.”
He said that an improved environment in the country, visits of foreign dignitaries including the visit of Chinese Presiednt Xi Jingping and the recent tour of the Zimbabwean cricket team were the few effects of the operation.
The details could not be independently verified since the access of journalists is severely restricted in the region.
Around 20 suspected militants killed in NWA blitz
Earlier during the day, the military said it had killed 20 militants in airstrikes conducted in North Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border
The attack took place near the Dattakhel area in North Waziristan tribal region.
Take a look: Miramshah in pictures: After the troops march in
“At least 20 terrorists were killed in aerial strikes,” the military said in a statement, without giving the identity of those killed or who they fought for.
No militant group said it had been hit, but the area is a stronghold of both the Taliban and foreign militants linked to Al Qaeda.
The conflict zone is off-limits to journalists, making it difficult to independently verify the number and identity of those killed.
Military operation Zarb-i-Azb was launched in North Waziristan on June 15 following a brazen militant attack on Karachi's international airport and the failure of peace talks between the government and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) negotiators.
Authorities have since vowed to intensify operations, using air strikes, artillery and mortars to take back territory both in the border regions and other parts of the country.
North Waziristan is one of the seven regions in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) governed by tribal laws which is situated along the Pak-Afghan border.