At least eight people, including two children were killed today when Pakistani security forces launched a fresh crackdown on pro-Taliban militants in a tribal region near the northwestern city of Peshawar where rebels have targeted US and NATO convoys for Afghanistan.
Eight persons, including two militants, two children and two women, were killed in shelling in Jamrud sub-district of Khyber Agency, TV channels reported. Local residents said heavy artillery and gunship helicopters were used to pound militant positions in mountainous areas.
The crackdown came after the militants attacked several terminals in Peshawar used by convoys ferrying supplies to US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Over 300 containers and armoured vehicles were destroyed in recent attacks.
The militants had also targeted supply convoys and fuel tankers along the Pakistan-Afghanistan highway in Khyber Agency.
Officials said the offensive is currently focussed on Jamrud, the main town in Khyber Agency that is located on the key highway. The operation is aimed at restoring the government's writ in the area and will continue till all militants from four groups, including the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, are flushed out of the region, they said.
"Anyone who shows resistance will be dealt with sternly," Tariq Hayat, the local administrative officer, told a news conference. He said several people had been arrested and will be punished under British-era laws known as the Frontier Crimes Regulations.