Army says 60 militants, 20 soldiers killed in Waziristan clashes
IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency
Islamabad, Oct 8, IRNA
Pakistani security forces have killed have killed around 60 pro-Taliban militants in fighting in North Waziristan, the military spokesman said on Monday.
Spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad told local TV channels that 20 soldiers have also been killed in the clashes started on Sunday morning.
He said that 15 soldiers and 35 militants were also injured in the clashes, the severe after local Taliban scrapped peace deal with the government in July.
A Taliban spokesman Ahmedullah Ahmadi has been quoted by local media as denying any casualties on the side of the militants.
Local tribesmen said that army used fighter jets and helicopters gunship to bomb what they alleged civilian positions.
They also claimed 50 deaths of civilians, including women and children.
The army has not confirmed the report but the army spokesman said that all places are legitimate targets from where the army is attacked.
The army retaliates when they are attacked, General Waheed Arshad said.
He said that clashes started on Sunday when miscreants attacked convoy of security forces in area 10 kilometers south of Mir Ali, a major town in North Waziristan.
He said clashes continued the whole day on Sunday and the army engaged with militants in two different locations.
General Arshad said that helicopters gunship took part in the operation to bomb positions of the militants.
He said that those militants killed were locals and that he has no information any foreigner was among them.
The army spokesman said that a jirga or council of tribal elders is underway near Mir Ali to secure a ceasefire to recover bodies from the rubles of the destroyed buildings.
Announcements were made to the people from local religious leaders to carry white flags and attend the jirga.
Locals said the army has imposed an undeclared curfew in the area and main bazaars are closed in Mir Ali and Miransha.
Witnesses said the security forces shot dead a man and his son in Mir Ali after they came out of a mosque after they stayed overnight in the mosque.
They said the two persons were stranded in the mosque due to night curfew.
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