Aerial strikes kill 43 terrorists in North Waziristan


ISLAMABAD: At least 43 suspected militants were killed in precise aerial strikes in North Waziristan on Thursday, military’s media wing said.


According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), 28 terrorists were killed in North Waziristan’s Shawal area and 15 in Gharlamai.

The recent strikes come two days after the military said it had eliminated at least 65 militants on Monday in the air raids conducted in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency.

On Sunday, in a similar statement, the army had said it killed 40 terrorists in air strikes in the country’s tribal belt, shortly after an attack in Attock that killed Punjab home minister Shuja Khanzada.

According to the military, the final phase of Operation Zarb-i-Azb to flush out Taliban terrorists from their remaining strongholds along the border with Afghanistan is under way.

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.

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.