Army completes Shawal operation


292 terrorists killed; 8 personnel embraced martyrdom

Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad—Pakistan Army has completed the most difficult combat operation in the last bastion of terrorists in Shawal valley of North Waziristan- a significant development to take operation Zarb-e-Azb to its logical conclusion.
The operation in the valley was launched in February this year during the visit of Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif to North Waziristan.
According to sources, the Army has successfully cleared the Shawal valley and terrorists hubs in Gurbaz, Kundi Top, Jungle Top, and other areas have been purged of the remnant elements. During this phase of operation, the troops carried out operations in densely forested ravines and indiscriminately severed their links with their abettors anywhere across the country.
The army and paramilitary forces, backed by the air force, had launched the coordinated operation against local and foreign militants in the North Waziristan tribal region in June 2014. Major areas of the region, including the agency headquarters Miranshah and Mirali were cleared before starting the final phase operation in the Shawal area.
Shortly before the operation was launched, militant organisations, including the main group led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur, had moved to Shawal valley.
Sources said that about three hundred terrorists have been killed during operation in Shawal valley and two hundred others were seriously wounded. Eight security personnel also embraced martyrdom and thirty nine others wounded in the operation so far. Above one hundred and forty IEDs were busted besides a huge cache of arms and ammunition was also recovered during the operation.
The sources said that the troops are now carrying out mopping operation in the Shawal valley to search for any terrorist and according to them it will take the troops one month to search every inch of the area.
The area ahead of Dattakhel, which had been frequent infiltration routes of terrorists between Pakistan and Afghanistan, were last bastion of terrorists in North Waziristan, the sources said and it is great achievement of the Army that it has cleared this difficult terrain. The completion of the last phase of Zarb-i-Azb in Shawal area brings active combat operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas to an end.
Meanwhile, return of TDPs is progressing as per plan. In North Wazirastan Agency 37012 families (36% of TDPs) have returned to their homes. 94 development projects of various kinds have been completed in Phase 1 and 2 in NWA while 153 projects are underway in Phase-3.

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