Jets pound South Waziristan hideouts: 16 militants killed
By Irfan Mughal and Iftikhar A. Khan
DERA ISMAIL KHAN: At least 16 militants, four of them foreigners, were killed and 10 others wounded when fighter jets bombed their positions in South Waziristan on Saturday.
Officials said that the fighter planes flew sorties over Makeen, Kot Langarkhel, Dwatoi, Sararogha and other areas of Ladha sub-division. A number of training facilities of militants were destroyed during the blitz, they added.
Ladha sub-division’s assistant political agent Azmat Jamal confirmed the killing of 13 militants, while other official sources put the death toll at 16. However, local tribesmen said that the death toll could go up to 25.
The sources said the dead militants included four foreigners and three of them were from the Orakzai tribal region. Nine belonged to South Waziristan.
They said that the jets also targeted a house in the Shpeshtin area of Ladha and hit a number of militants’ training facilities in the Makeen area. Huge dumps of arms and ammunition were destroyed during the air strikes, the sources added.
According to tribesmen, jets carried out intensive bombardment in various areas of South Waziristan. They said tribesmen were facing hardship as all roads in the tribal area were closed and they could not move to safe places.
The air strikes came two days after Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani visited the region.
It was the second air strike in Makeen after the plan to launch a full-scale operation in South Waziristan was announced.
According to an update on operation Rah-i-Raast by the ISPR, security forces have seized more arms, ammunitions and equipment in different parts of Swat.
During an exchange of fire with militants, two soldiers were injured in Thana and Tutan Banda.
Security forces carried out search and sweep operation in Rangeela, Mam Deherai, Khazan, Garai, Gamko Garai and Nimogram. They found 1 Parado Jeep, 6 walki-talkie sets, 1 satellite communication set, 4 IEDs, 6 camera flash guns, literature for the use of weapons, explosives and 1 VHF / FM transmitter in terrorists’ hideouts in Garai.
Troops also carried out search operation in areas around Kandao near Biha, Waliabad, Sambat, Baidarra Shakardara and Gulibgah. During exchange of fire with militants, one soldier was injured in Gulibgah.
According to ISPR, repair work on rural water pumps is in progress.