Khyber Agency - The PAF fighter jets late on Wednesday night bombed militant hideouts in Rajgaal area of Tirah Valley and killed at least 21 militants and injured several others.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), in a statement issued to the media on Thursday, said the warplanes pounded suspected sanctuaries of the militants and inflicted huge human loss on them. Five hideouts of the outlaws were also demolished in the bombardment. However due to far-flung area and lack of communication links, the casualty count of the militant fictions could not be ascertained.

On 16th September, 2014, the forces launched Zarb-e-Azb, Khyber One operation against all anti-social elements and outlaws in Bara and restored government’s writ in the planes. Chasing the running militants, the forces initiated Khyber Two clean-up operation in the mountainous areas of Tirah Valley and have been successfully wiping out militancy from vast bordering areas of the valley.

Meanwhile, the main gate of a local tribesman’s residency was blown up with an explosive device planted by militants here at Goder area of tehsil Jamrud in Khyber Agency on Thursday.

The administration sources said that miscreants had installed a high intensity bomb to the gate and boundary wall of the house of Mehmoodullah which went off with a bang late on Wednesday night. There was no loss of life.

Soon after the happening, administration officials along with Khasadar personnel moved to the scene and collected evidence. A case has been registered against unidentified people, sources said.

The operation in Tirah aims to build on the army’s offensive against strongholds of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other militant groups in nearby North Waziristan that began in June last year.

Tirah’s geography makes it an almost perfect hideout. Rather than a single valley, it is a network of peaks and vales covering an area of 1500-1800 square kilometres at altitudes of up to 2,500 metres (8,000 feet).

The valleys are steep-sided and covered to a large extent with dense woodland. There are no roads in the area, with locals largely relying on mules and horses for transport.

Earlier on October 11, at least 22 terrorists were killed in airstrikes by warplanes in the North Waziristan Agency before dawn.

Six compounds of terrorists were decimated in the air raids in Shawal Valley, according to the military’s media wing. The strategic valley is located on the confluence of borders between North and South Waziristan agencies.

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.