- Govt to launch action against 1,132 high-profile terrorists in Punjab
Airstrikes killed at least 65 suspected militants in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency on Monday, Inter-Services Public Relations said in a press release, a day after a bomb killed Punjab Home Minister Shuja Khanzada in Attock.
ISPR said that among other militants, two suicide bombers were also killed in the strikes. While 55 terrorists were killed in Shawal and Gharmali areas of North Waziristan, another 15 were targeted in Rajgal area of Khyber Agency.
The deeply forested ravines of Shawal Valley and Datta Khel are a smuggling route between Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan, and are dotted with militant bases used as launch pads for attacks on Pakistani forces.
However, intelligence officials told Reuters that 24 militants were killed in the airstrikes.
Two intelligence officials, on condition of anonymity, said Monday’s airstrikes took place at 10am in the Zoi Nari, Lataka, Mizer Madakhel and Shawal areas of North Waziristan.
“Jet air shelling destroyed six militant hideouts and killed 24 militants hiding in this area,” said one of the officials, adding that the dead included some foreigners.
A second official confirmed the deaths but declined comment when asked if the strikes were in retaliation for Sunday’s attack in Punjab, which killed nine people, including the provincial security chief.
GOVT LAUNCHES ACTION:
Meanwhile in Islamabad, the federal government has decided to take action against 1,132 terrorists belonging to the Tehreek-e-Taliban and other banned outfits in Punjab.
According to reports, the decision was made during a high-level meeting presided over by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday. The meeting also reviewed implementation of the National Action Plan.
Interior Minister Ch Nisar briefed the meeting about the National Action Plan, Attock tragedy and information of the intelligence agencies. He also informed the meeting about development in the Attock case.
The channel reported that the meeting decided to launch intelligence-based operations against dangerous terrorists. It added that bails of the released terrorists would be challenged in courts while the provincial counter-terrorism departments would be made more effective. The meeting also discussed the proposed Indian tour of Sartaj Aziz.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appreciated the sacrifices of the civil and military jawans. He expressed his resolve to continue the operation till elimination of terrorism.