Security forces pound militant hideouts in Mohmand, Bajaur
Monday, 15 Jun, 2009 | 01:03 PM PST |www.dawn.com
BAJAUR: Pakistani security forces have killed dozens more suspected militants in tribal areas, officials said on Monday.
Jet planes and helicopter gunships bombarded militant hideouts in the tribal agencies of Bajaur and Mohmand on Sunday, as the military opened up a second front in the seven-week offensive in the insurgency-hit northwest.
Security officials in the region said that about 30 militants were killed in Mohmand agency.
‘Airstrikes and shelling by gunships killed at least 31 militants. Ground forces are also active in the area,’ said a military official in the area.
Another security official based in Peshawar said the toll was slightly lower, telling AFP: ‘Air strikes and shelling by gunships killed 29 militants while 25 were wounded in Safi town of Mohmand tribal district.’
Similar action on Sunday hit the agency of Bajaur just north of Mohmand.
‘Eight militants including their commander were killed while a madressah used by militants and one hideout were destroyed,’ said a security official based in Bajaur’s main town of Khar.
Residents in Bajaur’s Charmang town, meanwhile, said paramilitary forces were announcing another assault and urging people to avoid security vehicles.
Ground forces in and around Charmang were seen clearing the roads Monday near the border with Afghanistan, residents said.
In the Jani Khel area in Bannu district militants fired rockets at a police station and an airport early Monday.
‘They escaped after suffering heavy losses,’ said Zahin-u-ddin, a local police official.
‘Seven militants were killed in the retaliatory attack.’