MIRAMSHAH: At least 22 terrorists have been killed in fresh air strikes by Pakistani warplanes in the North Waziristan tribal agency before dawn on Sunday. The deadly air blitz in Shawal Valley and Datta Khel regions came after a brief lull in fighting in the troubled region.
Six compounds of terrorists were decimated in the air raids in Shawal Valley, according to the military’s media wing, the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR). The strategic valley is located on the confluence of borders between North and South Waziristan agencies.
An official of the local administration claimed that fighter jets also bombed targets in several villages and hamlets in the Lawara Mandi area, close to Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Datta Khel tehsil of North Waziristan.
The claims could not be verified independently as the region is off-limits to the media. The military has been engaged in a massive operation, codenamed Zarb-e-Azb, in North Waziristan since mid-June 2014. Most parts of the agency, once a stronghold of local and foreign militants, have been purged of terrorists.
However, some militants are holed up in the thickly forested Shawal Valley, which is now regarded as the last bastion of militants. The military mounted a ground offensive in Shawal in August, this year, after softening targets with air strikes.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2015.