40 militants killed in Shawal airstrikes: ISPR

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Three FC men martyred, two terrorists killed in Chaghi clash

Security forces on Sunday carried out aerial strikes in Shawal Valley that killed 40 terrorists, said a statement by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR).

The statement said “security forces in ongoing Operation Zarb-i-Azb carried out precise aerial strikes killing 40 terrorists. Strikes were carried out in Shawal Valley.”

The area is off-limits to journalists, making it difficult to independently verify the number and identity of the dead.

The army says it is conducting the final phase of Operation Zarb-i-Azb to flush out Taliban terrorists from their remaining strongholds along the border with Afghanistan.

A large number of militants fleeing the operation in other parts of North Waziristan are believed to have taken refuge in Shawal Valley, which is considered to be an Al Qaeda sanctuary and a stronghold of Gul Bahadur, a warlord once considered pro-government.

Shawal has also been the focus of US drone attacks this year with multiple strikes hitting targets in the valley in which dozens of suspected militants were killed.

Pakistan Army launched Operation Zarb-i-Azb, a grand operation in the North Waziristan tribal region, following a Taliban attack on the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi in June 2014.

Since the beginning of Zarb-i-Azb, militants have fled to other tribal regions, including Khyber and its Tirah Valley and Shawal, all of which border Afghanistan.

In the meanwhile in Chaghi, three Frontier Corps (FC) men were martyred and two terrorists killed in clash between security forces and militants on Sunday.

The FC spokesman said that terrorists attacked the paramilitary troops in Qilla Kurd of district Chaghi in Balochistan. The paramilitary force appropriately retaliated the attack, killing two terrorists while others took fled. Arms were recovered from the possession of terrorists killed in FC firing.