Air Raids Kill 18 Terrorists in Shawal Valley
ISLAMABAD: At least 18 suspected terrorists were killed in air strikes on Tuesday in Shawal Valley, said a military statement.
The area is generally off-limits to journalists, making it difficult to independently verify the number and identity of the dead.
According to Radio Pakistan, jet fighters pounded terrorists' hideouts and destroyed several of them.
Today's strikes come a day after the military said it had eliminated at least 65 militants on Monday in air raids conducted in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency.
On Sunday, in a similar statement, the army had said it killed 40 terrorists in air strikes in the country's tribal belt, shortly after an attack in Attock that killed Punjab home minister Shuja Khanzada.
The army says it is conducting the final phase of Operation Zarb-e-Azb to flush out Taliban terrorists from their remaining strongholds along the border with Afghanistan.
A large number of militants fleeing the operation in other parts of North Waziristan are believed to have taken refuge in Shawal Valley, which is considered to be an Al Qaeda sanctuary and a stronghold of Gul Bahadur, a warlord once considered pro-government.
Shawal has also been the focus of US drone attacks this year with multiple strikes hitting targets in the valley in which dozens of suspected militants were killed.
Pakistan Army launched Operation Zarb-e-Azb, a grand operation in the North Waziristan tribal region, following a Taliban attack on the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi in June 2014.
Since the beginning of Zarb-e-Azb, militants have fled to other tribal regions, including Khyber and its Tirah Valley and Shawal, all of which border Afghanistan.
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