On Monday Pakistani military choppers pounded militant hideouts and killed 15 insurgents in the restive North Waziristan tribal region, once considered a bastion of Taliban fighters, even as three persons died in attacks targeting police in the country’s northwest.
“Army Aviation Combat helicopters in precise strikes in Tabai area of North Waziristan Agency destroyed 10 explosive laden vehicles and 5 terrorists hideouts, 15 terrorists were killed,” a military statement said.
The military says it has cleared Tehreek-i-Taliban (TTP) militants from more than 80 per cent of the North Waziristan tribal region, including its regional headquarters Miramshah, the now ruined sub-district Mirali.
A communication line spreading over 80 kilometres up to Dattakhel, 35km west of Miramshah, has also been cleared of militants, according to the military.
Hours before the military pounded the suspected TTP hideouts, militants killed three people in attacks targeting police in the restive northwest, officials said.
A suicide bomber killed one policeman in Tahl, about 100 kilometres southwest of Peshawar, while two brothers of a police station chief died in a separate attack on his home in Dera Ismail Khan.
Separately, gunmen attacked the residence of Safiur Rehman, chief of Kolachi Police Station in Dera Ismail Khan district and killed his two brothers and wounded the third.
Authorities believe the attack was mounted in revenge for an operation today in which one militant was killed and another wounded.
However, no group has claimed responsibility for the attacks but the Taliban, which rose against the state in 2007, often carry out such attacks against the police and other law enforcing agencies.
Meanwhile General John Campbell, Commander International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), met Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif at General Headquarters.
“During the meeting, matters of mutual interest were discussed that included progress of ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb, latest situation in Afghanistan and coordination along Pak-Afghan Border,” the military said.
This is his first visit to the General Headquarters after he assumed the command of the ISAF.
Pakistan began a much-awaited military campaign to clear insurgent bases from North Waziristan tribal region bordering Afghanistan, following a bloody assault on Karachi airport ended faltering peace talks with the rebels.
The militant attack on the airport killed 37 people.
Pakistan’s Air Force has spearheaded the operation to wipe out militants’ hideouts in what until recently was the epicentre of terrorism in the country.
The military claims it has killed nearly 1,000 militants and lost 82 soldiers since the start of the operation.