[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Pakistan army launches assault in tribal area

Army says "comprehensive operation" launched in North Waziristan, killing fighters linked to Karachi attack.

Last updated: 15 Jun 2014 17:23
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Pakistan says it has launched a "comprehensive operation" against armed groups in the northwestern tribal region bordering Afghanistan, after killing scores of fighters in air raids.

The military said on Sunday the operation would target "foreign and local terrorists" hiding in North Waziristan. The operation was launched a week after fighters attacked Karachi international airport.

"Using North Waziristan as a base, these terrorists had waged a war against the state of Pakistan", the military said, adding the groups had "paralysed life within the agency and perpetually terrorised the entire peace-loving and patriotic local population".

"Our valiant armed forces have been tasked to eliminate these terrorists regardless of hue and colour, along with their sanctuaries," it said.

Analysis: Pakistan's offensive against Taliban and the Uzbeks

Troops, artillery and helicopter gunships were involved, according to the Reuters news agency.

The operation was announced hours after Pakistani jets bombed the territory, with the military saying 105 people, mostly Uzbek fighters, were believed killed.

"A number of terrorist hideouts in Degan, Datta Khel in NWA [North Waziristan Agency] were targeted by jets," it said.

"There were confirmed reports of presence of foreign and local terrorists in these hideouts who were linked to planning of the Karachi airport attack," it said, a reference to the attack last week that killed 36 people.

Eight hideouts were targeted in the raids, the AP news agency quoted two intelligence officers as saying. The army said that an ammunition dump was also destroyed.

A video seen by Al Jazeera showed widespread damage in the town of Mir Ali

Abu Abdul Rehman al-Maani, the suspected planner of the Karachi attack, had been killed, the sources said.

RELATED: #HowNotToEliminateTaliban popular on Twitter after Karachi attack

The Pakistan Taliban, however, said that those killed were civilians and that it would avenge the deaths.

Uzbek fighters and the Pakistan Taliban both said they were involved in the airport attack, and the Pakistan Taliban said the two had worked together to carry it out.

The air raids were the second time this week the military has hit the tribal regions. Pressure has been mounting on the Pakistani government to launch a ground offensive in North Waziristan against the Taliban. 

The US carried out two drone attacks in the region on Wednesday, the first time its controversial drone programme was used this year.

436

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.