Pakistan army say 15 to 20 miscreants killed in operation
IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency
Islamabad, March 24, IRNA
Pakistan army said on Friday that some 20 pro-Taliban militants including foreigners have been killed in a fresh operation in the country's restive North Waziristan tribal region.
"According to our information 15 to 20 miscreants were killed in the operation in Tut Narai area of North Waziristan in operation launched at 3 a.m.," army spokesman Major General Shaukat Sultan said.
Sultan told reporters that the operation was launched after suspected militants attacked a paramilitary post in the region, killing one soldier and injuring five others.
Security forces used artillery and gunship helicopters to target the hideouts of the suspected militants, TV channels reported.
The militants abandoned arms while retreating in haste, Sultan said, adding that they left automatic weapons including rocket launchers.
He said they also used the weapons when they attacked the security post.
Asked about the identity of the miscreants, the spokesman said they were mixed of foreigners and their local facilitators.
They belonged to the same group, who had involved in tacks on security forces and government buildings in North Waziristan.
The restive North Waziristan region has, this month, witnessed some of the fieriest clashes between security forces and Islamist militants since 2004, especially in the town of Miranshah and Mir Ali, in which over 100 militants have been killed while five soldiers also lost lives.
The operation was first launched on March 1st, followed by more clashes in the region. Miranshah is still under night curfew and the Afghan refugees have also been asked to immediately quit the area.
Interior Minister Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao told the National Assembly this week that at least 120 government supporters and security men have been killed in military operation in North Waziristan tribal region since March 1st.
Thousands of troops are in the area hunting Taliban and al-Qaeda militants as part of the US-led war on terror.
A paramilitary post was also attacked in the nearby South Waziristan tribal agency last night, but no one was hurt,
correspondents in the region said.
The attack happened in Shakai area, 35 kilometers from Wana, the headquarters of South Waziristan.
Suspected militants have blown up local radio station and telephone exchange in South Waziristan over the past week.
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