ISLAMABAD - Jets and artillery on Saturday bombarded militant hideouts in North Waziristan Agency as part of the security forces’ ongoing operation, killing at least 19 militants, including Miranshah TTP Commander Umer, besides arresting another prominent Al Qaeda commander and three others.

The security forces army killed TTP Commander Umer and arrested another prominent Al Qaeda commander from the outskirts of Miranshah while trying to flee the area.

A statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said Umer was the operational commander of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Miranshah. It further said that initial interrogation revealed the other arrested terrorist was an expert of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and suicide belt manufacturing.

According to the details released by ISPR, the civilian population has left North Waziristan where the Zarb-e-Azb operation is targeting local and foreign militants.

“To make sure that there are no innocent civilians still left in the area, announcements are being made for any stranded tribal, who may have stayed for any reason, to leave also,” the statement added.

It also said that after the surrender of 19 terrorists, more terrorists might lay down arms.

During the last 24 hours, Pakistan Air Force jet aircraft destroyed six terrorist hideouts on the outskirts of Mirali, killing 11 militants. Attacks were also carried out on Saturday morning by artillery fire, tanks and heavy weapons outside Miranshah, killing seven terrorists.

Meanwhile, three terrorists were also arrested by security forces while they were trying to cross the Indus River near Mianwali and all spots along the river were subsequently sealed to prevent escape, it added.

An effective cordon around terrorist hideouts is in place around all places in North Waziristan Agency.

Supply and distribution of rations to IDPs is gradually improving. 21,543 packets of 110kg of rations in each have been distributed among IDPS at the relief delivery points established by Army in collaboration with the civil administration at Bannu, DI Khan and Tank.

After initial cash disbursement manually, the process of disbursement through mobile SIMs has been launched, for which SIMs are being distributed among the families as well.

Since the IDPs have moved their cattle also with them, 11 tons of fodder has also been distributed at Bannu,Tank and DI Khan.

Through a special civil-military veterinary setup, 4,488 cattle heads have been provided with veterinary treatment while 28,345 poultry birds were vaccinated.

The whole nation is pledging ration, money and other relief goods, and contributions are being enthusiastically delivered at the collection points established by the army across the country.

Collection points have been increased up to 53 across the country and to date 131 tons of rations have been collected and despatched to Bannu.

A field medical hospital set up by the Army Medical Corps at Khalifa Gul Nawaz Hospital Bannu is providing medical care to patients round the clock. Mobile medical teams are also being sent out to various areas where IDPs are residing.