RAWALPINDI: As many as 252 terrorists have been killed and over 160 injured in the last phase of on-going military offensive in Shawal, the main town in North Waziristan Agency, said the Inter-Public Services Relations (ISPR) on Sunday.
According to a statement issued by the ISPR, since the launch of the last phase of Operation Zarb-e-Azb in February troops have cleared 640 square kilometer area of Shawal.“Eight soldiers of Pakistan Army embraced martyrdom while 39 others were injured,” said the statement, adding that Manz, Gurbaz, Lataka, Inzarkas and Magrotai areas of the valley were cleared during the battles in North Waziristan agency.
“The battle to clear last pocket close to Pak-Afghan border still continues,” said the Pakistan army.The statement noted that the army restored government’s writ in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), destroying militant hideouts and seizing huge cache of arms and ammunition during the operation Zarb-e-Azb that was launched in June 2014.The drive against militants , the ISPR said, was carried out in extremely hostile terrain and harsh weather conditions, which saw 4304 square kilometers of area being cleared of terrorists.
“There was virtually No communication infrastructure in Shawal area once operation was launched In Feb this year. Up on most treacherous terrain Army troops have made 150 KM of tracks while fighting this war. Shawal heights are fully covered with snow, and visibility is very poor on and inside mountains” said the ISPR.
The statement said the army’s plan for the return of internally displaced persons is progressing as 36 percent of them have returned to their homes. “94 development projects of various natures have been completed in Phase 1&2 in NWA while 153 projects are underway in Phase-3.” It said Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif reviewed the progress of Infrastructure projects of North and South Waziristan on Saturday in the light of already approved master plan.