Pakistan Army Begins Major Anti-Militant Operation
The Pakistani army has launched a major operation against militants in North Waziristan, near the Afghan border.
The operation, which began on Sunday, involves the air force, artillery, tanks and ground troops.
It came hours after Pakistani fighter jets carried out airstrikes against militant strongholds in the mountainous Dehgan area.
Military officials said about 80 militants were killed in the attacks.
“Our valiant armed forces have been tasked to eliminate these terrorists regardless of hue and color, along with their sanctuaries,” the army said in a statement.
“With the support of the entire nation, and in coordination with other state institutions and law enforcement agencies, these enemies of the state will be denied space anywhere across the country.”
On June 8, some 37 people were killed in an all-night siege by gunmen at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport. Pro-Taliban militants later claimed responsibility for the deadly incident.
A day later, militants carried out another attack on a training center outside the airport in Karachi. However, Pakistani security forces rushed to the scene and managed to promptly repulse the assault.
Pro-Taliban militants have carried out numerous attacks against security forces as well as civilians, and managed to spread their influence in various regions of the South Asian country, despite sporadic offensives by the Pakistani army.
Thousands of Pakistanis have lost their lives in bombings and other militant attacks since 2001, when Pakistan entered an alliance with the United States in the so-called war on terror. Also, more than 4,000 Pakistani police and soldiers have reportedly been killed so far.
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