NWA air strikes kill 28 terrorists; soldier killed in check-post attack

* Six terrorist hideouts destroyed as jets target heavily forested Shawal valley * More than 400 militants and 25 soldiers have been killed in operation so far

BANNU: The military on Sunday bombed six militant boltholes in the North Waziristan Agency, killing at least 28 insurgents, officials said.The air strikes targeted Shawal village in the North Waziristan Agency, where militants fleeing a military offensive in other parts of the district had taken refuge. “At least 28 local and foreign terrorists were killed in today’s air strikes and their six hideouts were destroyed,” a senior military official told AFP. Local security officials confirmed the account, but it was not possible to independently verify the casualties as the offensive is ongoing and media are banned from the area. Jets and artillery began hitting rebel targets in North Waziristan in mid-June to try to regain full control of the district and ground forces moved in on June 30. The bombing took place in the heavily forested Shawal valley, the military said in a statement. It was part of an offensive that began last month to drive the Taliban from their stronghold in North Waziristan, a remote region that borders Afghanistan. The area has been heavily bombed in recent days. The military ordered the entire population of North Waziristan to leave ahead of the offensive, but some families stayed behind, either because they were too poor to afford to move, had sick members or did not think their area would be targeted. Residents say most militants moved out ahead of the ground offensive. The military says it has killed hundreds of militants in the offensive. It is impossible to verify their figures since the area is sealed off to journalists.More than 400 militants and 25 soldiers have been killed in the assault so far, according to the military. There have been fears that many top militants also fled, including fighters from the feared Haqqani network which is blamed for numerous bloody attacks in Afghanistan. More than 800,000 people have been forced to flee from North Waziristan by the assault, with most ending up in the nearby town of Bannu.Meanwhile, terrorists attacked a security check-post in Miranshah’s Banda area. At least one security official was killed in the attack. There was a heavy exchange of fire between the terrorists and the security forces. However, the attackers fled when the forces opened retaliatory fire. According to ISPR, after Miranshah, two important villages of Boya and Degan, which were known to be large concentration centres of local and foreign terrorists, have been cleared. Consolidation of Boya and Degan is in progress. In Mirali, a house-to-house search in Mussaki, Hurmez and Mirali bazar is being carried out by an integrated group of forces. Terrorists holed up inside Mirali and surrounding areas have been firing rockets, mortars, heavy machine guns and sniper rifles. During exchange of fire four terrorists were killed in Mirali. 

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