The Pakistan army on Monday launched an all-out offensive using jets and tanks in the restive North Waziristan, killing 177 Taliban fighters, including foreigners, while six soldiers were killed in an IED blast, the first military casualties in the operation.
"Air force jets targeted six hideouts of the militants in Shawal area. In these precise strikes 27 terrorists were killed. There is no civil population in the area," military spokesman Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa said.
The military said they shot dead seven militants trying to flee Mir Ali, a major town in North Waziristan. Another three were killed by soldiers when they were planting roadside bombs near Miranshah. Up to 140 terrorists were killed in Sunday's precision strikes in Degan-Boya, said Bajwa. Most of those killed were Uzbek militants fighting along with Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) rebels.
The Pakistan army launched operation ‘Zarb-e-Azb’, which means ‘Strike of the Prophet's Sword’, in retaliation to the deadly terror attack on the country's biggest airport in Karachi last week that killed nearly 40 people, including 10 Uzbek fighters.
"Many East Turkestan Islamic Movement terrorists and their affiliates have also been killed in the strikes. It was a massive blow to the terrorists and one of their main communication centres has been dismantled," Bajwa added.
He said three soldiers were injured last night in exchange of fire with terrorists around Mir Ali.