ISLAMABAD: As many as 20 local and foreign terrorists were killed and four isolated terrorist hideouts destroyed by aerial strikes in Shawal valley on Wednesday as security forces cleared major part of Mirali.
According to ISPR, clearance of Mir Ali is progressing smoothly. A local ammo manufacturing factory has been recovered. Huge cache of arms and ammo, scores of IEDs and foreign currency were also recovered from Mirali Bazaar. Technical disposal and clearance of recovered IEDs and explosive in Miranshah is in progress. Six IED factories in Miranshah have been cleared by Army Engineers so far.
Pakistan Air Force (PAF) jets early on Wednesday morning launched surgical strikes to target Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) hideouts in Shawal valley. According to security sources, seven terrorists killed in the air strikes by the PAF’s Northern Air Command (NAC) were foreign militants of Chechen and Tajik descents. Further air strikes would be conducted in the area to neutralise the terrorists ahead of the launch of ground operation there in the coming weeks, the officials informed.
The ground offensive in Shawal area, the sources said, would be launched after the other parts of NWA are cleared. “Major part of Mirali is cleared. The military action would now be stretched to the rural parts,” the sources said, adding that the central areas of Mirali subdivision including Mirali tehsil (town), its central market (bazaar) and adjoining parts were cleared of terrorists, while the forces were bracing to scale up ground reinforcements in Spinwarm and Shewa areas that are broadly part of Mirali subdivision.
The security forces, comprising of Pakistan Army, Frontier Corps (FC) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and PAF (leading surgical mission) have cleared the Miranshah and Ghulam Khan towns of the Miranshah subdivisions, whereas Dattakhel town is yet to be fully cleared where the ground reinforcements are being sent and aerial missions carried out. The US drone strikes have also targeted several terrorists, mostly Uzbek TTP commanders, in the same area.
Talking to Daily Times, NWA MNA Nazir Khan Wazir, who represents the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, said that the Zarb-e-Azb operation might be completed this summer. “Although I don’t have any confirmed or exact information, but as a resident of NWA, I have a clear idea as to how this military action progresses. If one has to go by their (security forces) claims, then, I believe, the NWA would be completely cleared of the militants in the coming months of the ongoing summer season.”
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