Curfew relaxed as 18 more killed in North Waziristan operation

Forces arrest al Qaeda ‘commander’ in tribal agency

MIRANSHAH – Residents of the North Waziristan fled in large numbers to nearby Bannu district as curfew was relaxed in the tribal agency for the safe exit of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) from 11am till 4pm.

The announcements were being made for stranded tribal people who may have stayed back for any reasons to leave also. The displaced persons have reached Bannu on unregistered vehicles – a potential threat to security of the district.

On the other hand, there are reports that more militants may lay down arms after surrender of 19 militants so far. On Friday evening, PAF jet aircraft destroyed six militant hideouts on the outskirts of Mirali, killing 11 militants.

Early Saturday morning, the militants’ concentrations were also targeted by integrated fire of artillery, tanks and heavy weapons outside Miranshah, killing seven on the spot. A Taliban ‘commander’ has been killed by the security forces on Friday night on the outskirts of Miranshah.

One prominent al Qaeda commander has been arrested while trying to flee from surrounded area in the tribal agency. Initial interrogation shows him as an explosive, IED, suicide belt expert. Three militants were arrested by the security forces while they were trying to cross river Indus near Mianwali.

All crossing places along the river are currently manned to seal any escape for the militants. Effective cordon around the militant hideouts is in place around all places in the areas. Also, supply and distribution of rations to the displaced families is gradually improving.

After initial cash disbursement manually, the process of disbursement through mobile SIMs has been launched for which SIMs are being distributed to families as well. The whole nation is pledging ration, money and other relief goods and enthusiastically depositing their contributions at collection points established by the army across Pakistan.

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