Fresh airstrikes in North Waziristan as Operation Zarb-e-Azb continues.
Pakistan’s military said on Monday it had killed 10 militants and destroyed an explosives cache in ongoing airstrikes as part of a major offensive against the Taliban in the northwest.
Pakistan began the long-awaited push to clear insurgent bases from North Waziristan, on the Afghan border, in June after a bloody attack on Karachi airport sank faltering peace talks with the rebels.
“Army aviation gunship helicopters struck an area ahead of Boya Degan in North Waziristan. In a precise strike on a terrorist hideout, gunship helicopters destroyed one explosive dump and five vehicles and killed 10 terrorists,” the military said in a statement. The conflict zone is off-limits to journalists, so there is no way to independently verify the number and identity of those killed.
According to the statement, in addition to the large cache of explosives, the airstrikes also destroyed communications equipment and other logistics facilities, “uprooting their [terrorists] ability to attack as a coherent force.”
Airstrikes, artillery, mortars and ground troops have all been used to retake territory in North Waziristan, which had become a haven for fighters with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other militant outfits.
The military has said the major towns of Miranshah and Mir Ali had now been cleared of insurgents, along with a 90-kilometer road through North Waziristan.
The latest attacks came a week after the Army announced it had killed more than 900 militants and lost 82 soldiers since the start of the operation. After one set of airstrikes in the Shawal Valley in July, multiple accounts by residents said 37 civilians were killed, including 20 women and 10 children.