The Taliban on Tuesday warned of harsh response to any military attack on its main stronghold of South Waziristan,as Pakistani fighter jets pounded their hideouts in the area where reports said an all out offensive was imminent.
Pakistani forces will pay a heavy price for any adventure, a Pakistani Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq threatened as the group claimed responsibility for the deadly suicide bombing of the UN Food Agencys office here which left five people dead and another six wounded.
A military spokesman said six militants were killed in the bombing raids carried out on Makeen and Nawazkot areas in South Waziristan.
The attacks came amid media reports quoted to senior military officials that the military is on the brink of a ground offensive into the area,where US intelligence suspect that the bulk of Taliban,al-Qaeda and other foreign militants are holed up,including the top leadership.
Major General Athar Abbas told a private TV channel that Pakistani Taliban leadership holed up in the area were responsible for 80 to 90 per cent of the terror activities in Pakistan. The root of terror is in South Waziristan. It is a must to root out this terror and curse and for this an operation in the area is inevitable.
Security forces have enforced a total ground blockade of the area for the past several months and massed troops and armour for an attack.
Meanwhile,Tariq,the Taliban spokesman,claimed responsibility for Mondays attack on the office of the World Food Programme in phone calls to several media outlets,including the BBC Urdu service.
These institutions are not working for the public welfare and are serving the interests of the Americans, he said. The Taliban cannot leave Pakistan at the mercy of the Americans,he said.
The bomber,who was wearing the uniform of a paramilitary trooper,struck the highly guarded WFP office after persuading security guards from a private agency to allow him to use the toilet. The UN temporarily closed all its offices across Pakistan after the attack.