ISLAMABAD - At least 32 terrorists were killed as Pakistan Army’s gunship helicopters on Saturday targeted the militant hideouts in Bangidar area of North Waziristan Agency during the ongoing operation Zarb-e-Azb.
According to a short statement released by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Pakistan Army 's gunship helicopters attacked the terrorists ' hideouts in North Waziristan Agency (NWA), 32 militants were killed in these latest air-strikes and three hideouts were destroyed.
Inter Services Public Relations also said that 23 cars of terrorists laden with ammunition and 4 arms depots were also destroyed during in the strikes.
Agencies add: The US military leadership has said it will be premature to say something about Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan, adding this operation has shaken the foothold of the enemy temporarily and they have led to Afghanistan.
US Marine General Dunford and Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Martin have said it is premature to give any decision on the military operation in North Waziristan.
They further said what has assumed importance now is if they can successfully complete the three phases – clearing the area, taking its control and resettlement of the IDPs.
Gen Martin said Pakistan army is still in the first phase of the operation – cleansing the area from the extremists. The army will have now to show if it can take the control of this area now. Ensuring rule of law in these areas will be vital afterwards.
Gen Dunford said, doubtlessly, some fighters have made escape to Afghanistan with some homeless refugees. He held that reassembling of thousands of militants and escalation in violence was not seen which could give indication about the capability of enemy for carrying out terror activities inside Afghanistan.
The US authorities had been exerting pressure on Pakistan since long for launching operation in North Waziristan. This area has remained a hideout for the terrorists , Pakistani Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Haqqani and other terrorists’ networks. Haqqani network has used this territory as its base for targeting the US, Afghan and coalition forces in Afghanistan.
Pakistan Army started the operation in this area in June of this year. Questions were raised from time to time if the army will take any action against Haqqani network.