ISLAMABAD: Up to 18 terrorists were reported killed in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) as the security forces continued aerial assaults and ground check on Friday.
At least seven terror hideouts were also destroyed and 27 terror suspects arrested on the sixth day of the Zarb-e-Azb operation. The reported death toll of the militants in the ongoing operation is said to have exceeded 230.
The three-day relaxation in curfew given to the NWA residents to allow the evacuation of civilian population to the alternate places ended on Friday. As many as 400 Afghan families are reported to have left the agency for Khost province in Afghanistan.
NWA Political Agent Siraj Ahmad Khan said the curfew would be tightened after the expiry of the deadline but the civilian evacuation would not be stopped. “We have made a comprehensive and workable plan for the evacuation of civilian evacuation with effect from Saturday (today). It will help us check the terrorists’ escape from the NWA,” he told Daily Times by phone.
“There have been multiple attempts by the terrorists to flee in the garb of the IDPs. Our security forces have foiled these attempts.”
Three terrorist hideouts in the Qutab Khel area of the NWA, on the outskirts of Miranshah, were destroyed early morning by the army’s gunship helicopters, according to an update issued by the Inter Services Public Relations. “It was an integrated action by cobra gunships, artillery and snipers. Twelve terrorists including foreigners were killed in the strikes. Huge cache of arms and ammunition was also destroyed,” the ISPR said.
Around Miranshah and Mir Ali, where security forces have laid siege, the terrorists were trying to escape, the update said. “Terrorists inside the cordoned area are making desperate attempts to flee the area. Six attempts were foiled last night (Thursday). Three locals who did not have any identity proof were apprehended while trying to flee from the cordon. Another 24 terror suspects trying to flee in the garb of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have also been apprehended at various strangulation check posts in Mir Ali and Miranshah,” the statement said.
The ISPR said organised evacuation of IDPs continued from the NWA towards Bannu. “Till now, 200,000 persons have evacuated from the area. So far, 11 families (92 individuals) have been enlisted in the IDPs camp at Bakkakhel, Bannu. As many as 400 Afghan families left NWA for Afghanistan through Ghulam Khan Border village on Thursday. They were provided all required administrative assistance,” the military said.
The military said additional lady police searchers and NADRA mobile vans have been deployed to further streamline the registration process at Saidgai registration point for IDPs. A total of 20 registration booths, 10 each for male and females IDPs, are continuously functioning for expeditious registration.
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