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December 8, 2014

30 killed as jets target Gul Bahadur

December 8, 2014

PESHAWAR: The military authorities said on Sunday that up to 30 militants were killed when militants’ hideouts were pounded in North Waziristan’s Dattakhel area on Sunday on strong intelligence reports about the presence of North Waziristan Taliban leader Hafiz Gul Bahadur and his deputy Maulvi Sadiq Noor there.
“We had strong intelligence reports that both of them along with a third senior commander were staying in their compounds in Mra Panga and Masdaq villages of the Dattakhel area. The targets were Gul Bahadur and his deputy Maulvi Sadiq Noor and we succeeded in killing 20 to 30 militants,” a senior military official said in Miranshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan Agency.
Pleading anonymity, he said they wouldn’t confirm at the moment if the two of them had been eliminated in the air strikes by Pakistan Air Force jets.“The area is very far away and that’s why fighter jets were called in to target these militant hideouts when reports about the presence of the senior militant leadership were received. There is complete silence right now and the militants have stopped interacting with each other. But we are working to ascertain if both the commanders were killed in the air strikes,” the official said.
Another security official in North Waziristan said the fighter jets heavily pounded the militants’ hideouts and it seemed no one would have survived there.“The fighter jets continued heavy bombing for about 30 minutes. It would be a huge success of the Operation Zarb-e-Azb if they are eliminated,” the security official said.
Our correspondent adds from Miranshah: Six people, four of them reportedly foreign fighters, were killed and two others injured in a US drone attack on their compound in the Khar Tangi village of Dattakhel area in North Waziristan. Also, there were reports that al-Qaeda’s Afghanistan-Pakistan operational chief Umar Farooq aka Ustad Farooq was among the victims of the latest drone strike in

Official sources said the drone fired two missiles and struck a house where the militants were reportedly staying.According to sources, four among the six victims were foreign fighters and two were local militants.There was, however, no information about the identity of the two local slain militants.The US has stepped up the drone strikes in North Waziristan where the government has launched a major military offensive since June 15 against the local and foreign militants.
Munir Khan Afridi adds from Bara: Four soldiers and 12 militants were killed while four troops sustained injuries when militants attacked a bunker of security forces in theTirah Valley in Khyber Agency, official sources said.
Sources said that dozens of fighters of the proscribed militant organisations, the Mangal Bagh-led Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), stormed the bunker from two directions with heavy weapons in the Akakhel area in Tirah Valley.
They said four soldiers were killed on the spot while four others sustained injuries. The injured soldiers were shifted to Peshawar.The soldiers repulsed the attack and killed 12 militants, sources said, adding that several other militants were injured in the action.
It was also learnt that since October 16 when the government launched the Operation Khyber-I, the LI and TTP Tariq group were working closely to attack the soldiers and volunteers of pro-government organisation, Tauheedul Islam (TI).Owing to the difficult terrain, the military preferred the use of jet fighters and helicopters in the fight against the militants in the Khyber Agency and its adjoining Orakzai Agency.

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