490 Pakistani soldiers, 3,500 militants killed in two-year operationUpdated: Jun 15, 2016 22:07 IST
Pakistani policemen guard the central jail in Hyderabad, 160 km (100 miles) from Karachi, in this July 10, 2002 file photo. (REUTERS)
Nearly 500 Pakistani soldiers and 3,500 militants were killed during two-year long ‘Operation Zarb-e-Azb’ launched by the military to clear the restive tribal region of terrorists, army said today.
“The FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Region) has been cleared of all militants and the troops have reached upto the border (with Afghanistan),” Military spokesman Lt Gen Asim Bajwa said, marking the second anniversary of the Zarb-e-Azb.
Operation Zarb-e-Azb (Sharp and cutting strike) was launched on June 15, 2014 to clear the North Waziristan of al-Qaeda linked militants.
Bajwa said more than 3,500 militants were killed while around 490 soldiers lost their lives during the operation.
He said 992 militant hideous were destroyed, 253 tonnes of explosives confiscated, 7,500 bomb factories dismantled, 2,800 mines removed and 3,500 rockets and mortars recovered during the operation.
“The militants had enough explosives to continue bombing for 15 years with upto seven bombing every day,” he said.
He said 4,304 sq/km was cleared in the tribal region and all militant networks in North Waziristan and Khyber were smashed, which were main source of terrorism.
He said the operation was done indiscriminately and all militants groups were targeted. He said the operation was still going on in the shape of combing operations.
Bajwa said that Pakistan suffered $107 billion of financial losses since 9/11 due to militancy in its region.
He said border management with Afghanistan was serious issues as Pakistan wants to plug all points on the 2,600 kilometer long border to stop illegal movements.
He said in the initial phase eight recognised crossing points will be managed and later presence of forces on the border will be increased.
“We are having new recruits to increase manpower of Frontier Corps and border management troops to improve the security and bring all movement under control,” he said.
Bajwa said that success in the tribal region had major positive impact on the security in the country. He also mentioned Karachi where over 1,200 militants were captured and several killed.
First Published: Jun 15, 2016 22:07 IST