Monday, June 16, 2014

Pakistan Military Wages Assault Against Militants

By ISMAIL KHAN and DECLAN WALSH, NYT
JUNE 15, 2014

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Ending years of hesitation, Pakistan’s military on Sunday said it was launching a major military operation against the Pakistani Taliban and allied foreign militants at their main base in the tribal belt along the Afghan border.

The assault on North Waziristan, a lawless district that heavily armed militants have used as a sanctuary to stage attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan, comes one week after an audacious Taliban assault on the country’s busiest airport, in Karachi, left at least 36 people dead.

But a military campaign was anticipated before the Karachi attack, and tens of thousands of residents have fled North Waziristan while the government has evacuated the families of officials posted to the area.

In a prelude to the announced offensive, Pakistani fighter jets pounded suspected militant hide-outs in North Waziristan early Sunday. The military said in a statement that it had killed 105 militants, mostly from Uzbekistan, but it was not possible to independently confirm the toll because Waziristan is inaccessible to most journalists.

(More here.)

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