Pakistan army pounds militant positions, kills 10


Pakistani military helicopters have pounded militant hideouts in the country’s restive northwest in a continuing massive operation against pro-Taliban elements in the trial belt, killing at least 10 of them, authorities say.

The government helicopters on Wednesday targeted militant positions in the Khar Warsak area, 12 kilometers north of Miramshah, the main town in the North Waziristan tribal region.

“The helicopters destroyed three militant compounds and killed 10 insurgents during the shelling,” said a local security official as cited in an AFP report.

The aerial shelling and the militant casualties were also confirmed by a local intelligence official.

The development comes as an estimated 500,000 people have fled the major offensive in the restive tribal region, which Pakistan says is aimed at wiping out militant strongholds in the vast territory bordering Afghanistan.

Tens of thousands of families have left for the town of Bannu, close to North Waziristan, while hundreds more have moved further away to the towns of Lakki Marwat, Karak and Dera Ismail Khan since the Operation Zarb-i-Azb began in mid-June.

This is while 376 militants and 19 soldiers have so far been killed in the offensive, according to Pakistani military authorities.

Major General Asim Bajwa, the chief spokesman for the Pakistani military, reiterated on Tuesday that the current offensive would target all militants, including those belonging to the Haqqani network.

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