Government air strikes in a north-western tribal region of Pakistan have killed 43 militants, the military said.
Pakistan forces launched the long-awaited major offensive in Waziristan in June previous year and have killed almost 3,000 militants so far. On the first day of the air strikes and ground battle, military officials said, 43 militants were killed.
Pakistan Army has extended their ground operation in Shawwal, district of North Waziristan, which is the extension of operation Zarb-e-Azab.
In a tweet, the Director General ISPR Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa said that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif has directed to achieve military objectives as soon as possible. Before the operation began, the army ordered most civilians to leave.
Earlier, Pakistani fighter jets pounded militant hideouts in Shawal, killing at least 15 militants.
The military claims to have cleansed most parts of the troubled agency of terrorists and successfully destroyed “terrorist sanctuaries” and their command and control structure, while targeted operations are under way to eliminate some pockets of resistance near the border with Afghanistan. Many are thought to have taken refuge in Shawal Valley, considered a stronghold for al Qaeda. “We have no losses there because the government does not know where we are”, he said.
“Every phase will be final, but it’s not been ended”, Qadir told Reuters, noting that the ideology and recruitment ability of the Taliban and other jihadists remained along with the ability to launch militant attacks.