252 militants killed in last phase of military operations in Pakistan

Security personell. Representational image
Over 250 militants have been killed in Pakistan in army operations in the last two months along the porous Pak-Afghan border, the military said.

"The battle to clear the last pocket close to the Pak-Afghan border continues," the Inter-Services Public Relations said, adding that all heights over 9,000 feet have been cleared.

"Major terrorist hubs" in Mana, Gurbaz, Lataka, Inzarkas and Magrotai areas have been cleared of militants, it added.

"Terrorists' hideouts were destroyed, a cache of arms and ammunition recovered and there was virtually no communications infrastructure remaining in the Shawal area once the operation was launched in Feb this year," Dawn quoted the statement as saying.

Hundreds of troops, backed by fighter jets, have been chasing the remaining militants in Shawal Valley where they are hiding, the statement said.

The militants have been killed under the Zarb-i-Azb military operation which was launched in North Waziristan nearly two years ago after a brazen militant attack on Karachi's international airport and the failure of peace talks between the government and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan negotiators.

The operation entered its last phase in February this year.

"During the last phase of operation in Shawal, 252 terrorists have been killed, and reportedly 160 were severely injured. In the last two months, valiantly fighting in Shawal, eight soldiers of the Pakistan Army embraced shahadat (martyrdom) while 39 injured," the statement said.

"Since the launch of the last phase in February 2016, army troops have been fighting valiantly and have cleared 640 square km of Shawal area," it said.

During the last phase of Zarb-e-Azb, return of Temporarily Displaced Persons was progressing according to plan, as 37,012 families in North Waziristan Agency -- 36% of such persons -- have returned to their homes, the statement added.

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