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Pakistan begins 'clean-up' of militants in North Waziristan

Posted on Jul 20 2014 | IANS

Islamabad, July 19 : Pakistani security forces have started a clean-up operation against militants in Mirali in North Waziristan, the Pakistan Army said Saturday.

"Terrorists are being eliminated and dislodged from their bases in North Waziristan as the operation progresses as per plan," Xinhua quoted a military official as saying.

An army statement said that after Miranshah, the centre of North Waziristan, two important villages of Boya and Degan, known to be large concentration centres of local and foreign terrorists, have been cleared.

In Mirali, a house-to-house search in three key areas - Mussaki, Hurmez and Mirali Bazaar - was being carried out by an integrated group of forces.

"Terrorists holed up inside Mirali and surrounding areas have been firing rockets, mortars, heavy machine guns and sniper rifles," the army statement said.

Four terrorists were killed in Mirali and 12 explosive devices were neutralised Friday night, while an explosives-making factory, a huge cache of arms and ammunition and foreign currency were also seized.

Meanwhile, targeting of terrorists and their hideouts in other areas in North Waziristan is continuing, the army said.

Army officer Khalid Rabbani, who is in charge of the operation, visited Mirali, Boya and Degan areas and met the troops busy in the Operation named "Zarb e Azb".

The military operation was launched by the army June 15 following a brazen Taliban terror attack on Karachi's Jinnah International Airport June 8.

So far, more than 400 suspected militants, mostly foreigners, have been killed during the operation.

About 900,000 people from North Waziristan tribal region have been displaced so far in the operation, according to figures released by the FATA Disaster Management Authority.

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