Zarb-e-Azb, one year on…

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  • 347 soldiers, 2,763 terrorists so far killed in military operation in North Waziristan Agency
  • Chief military spokesman says thousands of suspected terrorists, their abettors are in army custody

Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asim Bajwa on Saturday marked a year since the launch of Operation Zarb-i-Azb with an overview of significant achievements.

In a series of tweets, Maj Gen Bajwa said that so far 2,763 suspected terrorists have been killed in the North Waziristan operation. It added that 837 hideouts have been destroyed and 253 tons of explosives have been recovered.

He said that militant strongholds, communications infrastructure and sanctuaries were cleared on a large scale in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), including North Waziristan and Khyber agencies.

He said that thousands of suspected terrorists and their abettors had been apprehended whereas ‘218 hardcore terrorists’ were killed in around 9,000 intelligence-based-operations (IBOs). Bajwa added that 347 military personnel had also lost their lives during the operation.

Giving details of the search operations conducted in militant hideouts North Waziristan Agency, he said that 18,087 weapons including heavy machine guns (HMGs), light machine guns (LMGs), sniper rifles, rocket launchers and AK-47 rifles had been recovered during the past one year.

The ISPR chief said that, “the entire nation came together to eliminate terrorism from Pakistan. The media and civil society played a positive role to help end the menace.”

He said that an improved environment in the country, visits of foreign dignitaries including the visit of Chinese President Xi Jingping and the recent tour of the Zimbabwean cricket team were the few effects of the operation.

NWA BLITZ:

Earlier during the day, the military said it had killed 20 militants in airstrikes conducted in North Waziristan tribal region’s Dattakhel area.

“At least 20 terrorists were killed in aerial strikes,” the military said in a statement, without giving the identity of those killed or who they fought for.

No militant group said it had been hit, but the area is a stronghold of both the Taliban and foreign militants linked to al Qaeda.

Military operation Zarb-i-Azb was launched in North Waziristan on June 15 following a brazen militant attack on Karachi’s international airport and the failure of peace talks between the government and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) negotiators.

Authorities have since vowed to intensify operations, using airstrikes, artillery and mortars to take back territory both in the border regions and other parts of the country.

North Waziristan is one of the seven regions in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) governed by tribal laws which is situated along the Pak-Afghan border.