US drones its way into Operation Zarb-e-Azb

  • Two drone strikes kill six suspected terrorists in Miranshah
  • FO says drone strikes have negative impact on govt’s efforts to bring peace and stability to tribal regions
  • Gen Sharif tells Afghan govt to destroy TTP havens on their side of border

At least six suspected militants were killed in two US drone strikes early Wednesday in the Miranshah tehsil of North Waziristan tribal region where a comprehensive military operation launched by the Pakistani army against foreign and local terrorists is also under way, as Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif urged the Afghan government to destroy hideouts of Pakistani Taliban in Kunar and Nuristan provinces to stop them from getting support from across the border.

Intelligence sources in Peshawar said six missiles fired by the drones hit a compound and a vehicle in Dargah Mandi village in Miranshah. The identities of those killed in the strikes have not yet been ascertained, the sources added.

Wednesday’s is the third drone attack in a month, the earlier two successive US drone strikes killing at least 16 suspected militants in North Waziristan.


Meanwhile in Islamabad, the Foreign Office condemned the two drone strikes, terming them a “violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

“These strikes have a negative impact on the government’s efforts to bring peace and stability in Pakistan and the region.”

Wednesday’s strikes killed at least six people. On June 11, two successive drone strikes reportedly killed around 16 people and injured few others.

There have been three drone strikes this year, killing around 20 people.

The army launched its long-awaited major operation ‘Zarb-i-Azb’ in the tribal region a week after an attack on the airport in Karachi, deploying troops, tanks and jets to the area in the crackdown on the Taliban and other militants.

A total of at least 187 suspected militants and eight soldiers have been reported killed since Saturday night when the operation was launched.

During the operation, the army has reportedly so far resorted only to airstrikes, sending F-16 and Mirage fighter jets to pound suspected militant hideouts up in the mountains.

The ground offensive is expected to start in the next week when land forces will try to comb through North Waziristan’s valleys and take over villages and buildings.

Air raids have continued daily since Sunday killing scores of militants, according to Pakistani military sources.


Meanwhile in Rawalpindi, General Raheel Sharif conveyed Pakistan’s concerns over havens of Taliban terrorists in Afghanistan’s Kunar and Nuristan provinces to Afghan Ambassador Janan Mosazai during a meeting at the General Headquarters.

“During the meeting, the ongoing operation in North Waziristan Agency and matters of mutual interest, including measures to improve security along Pakistan-Afghanistan border were discussed,” a short statement issued from Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

Sources said this is the first diplomatic contact by Pakistan Army with Afghanistan since a formal military operation in North Waziristan tribal region was launched on Sunday.

The Afghan ambassador assured Gen Sharif that Afghanistan would extend full cooperation to Pakistan in its ongoing operation against militants in NWA region and that the message to destroy the hideouts would be conveyed to the top Afghan defence authorities.


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