PESHAWAR ( Dawn, AFP): At least 15 militants were killed Thursday as fighter jets targeted suspected militant hideouts in three different tehsils of the North Waziristan tribal region.
The bombardment comes a day after Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) said a ceasefire can be negotiated upon if the army stopped targeting its members.
Official sources told Dawn.com that militant hideouts in Dattakhel, Shawan and Mir Ali were targeted.
According to security sources, apart from the 15 militants who were killed in the strikes, scores of others were also injured.
“There are confirmed reports of 15 militants including foreigners killed in these airstrikes,” a senior security official told AFP, adding that the attacks focused on the town of Mir Ali and surrounding areas of North Waziristan.
“Airstrikes were carried out to target militant hideouts with precision. A huge cache of arms and ammunition have also been destroyed,” the official said.
A second security official in Miramshah, the main town of North Waziristan, told AFP that jet fighters began pounding targets around 12:30 am, with the attack continuing for more than an hour.
A militant compound jointly used by insurgent groups was also destroyed in the airstrikes, the second official said.
Residents in the area said the Taliban compound caught fire after the attack, with flames visible through the night.
A resident in the area who requested anonymity told AFP some of the residents and their families were seen moving to safer places after the airstrikes.
North Waziristan is one of the seven regions in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) governed by tribal laws. An extremist insurgency led by the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) plagues the region and the area is known to be infested with militants, including those from Al Qaeda and other armed extremist organisations.
The region, which lies along the Pak-Afghan border, also comes under attacks from US drones frequently which target militant hideouts in the area.