Pakistan: Jets pound militants
- Jets, gunships pound militants' positions:
'Several mountain posts secured'
WANA, July 20: Pakistan Air Force jets and army helicopter gunships
bombed militants' positions in Santoi and Mantoi mountain regions in
the South Waziristan tribal area on Tuesday.
With fierce clashes continuing, families were seen leaving the area.
Witnesses said air strikes were launched after security forces
captured some key locations, north of the Shakai Valley, and bombed
militants' positions on hilltops.
The Director-General Inter Services Public Relations, Maj-Gen Shaukat
Sultan, told Dawn from Islamabad that security forces arrested one
militant and seized a rocket launcher. He added that the identity of
the arrested militant had yet to be ascertained.
Unofficial reports said that four soldiers of the 10 Punjab Regiment
and two tribesmen were killed in Tuesday's clashes while three other
army troops sustained injuries. However, the ISPR spokesman denied
that the army had suffered any casualty.
Officials and witnesses said that F-7 planes and helicopter gunships
carried out massive bombardment on militants' positions in Santoi,
Mantoi and Dand areas. Maj-Gen Sultan said that the security forces
operating in the region were using weapons and fire-power as per
He did not say anything about the use of jets and helicopters. Long-
range artillery was used from Tiarza and Zari Noor Brigade
Headquarters targeting hideouts of foreign and tribal militants in
Residents in Shakai said that security forces had moved further
towards Santoi, Mantoi and Dand where several locations had been
secured. The PAF warplanes also dropped bombs on the peaks of the
forested Bosh Ghar mountain.
Reports said that intense fighting was underway between the security
forces and militants who were hiding in the mountains on the Pakistan-
Afghanistan border and using rockets, missiles, mortar shells and
heavy machine-guns against the troops.
Local people said that despite massive shellings and bombings, the
militants were offering tough resistance to paramilitary forces and
regular troops. Due to the bombing and artillery fire, incidents of
forest fire had been reported from the Bosh Ghar area, posing threat
to pine-nut trees.
The political authorities shifted 12 of the 26 tribesmen who had
surrendered on Monday to Peshawar for interrogation, an official said
in Wana on Tuesday. These tribesmen are accused of sheltering foreign
militants in Shakai.
Sanctions on tribe lifted partially
By Zulfiqar Ali
PESHAWAR, July 22: Authorities in the South Waziristan tribal region
have partially lifted economic sanctions imposed some time ago on the
Ahmadzai Wazir tribe.
Sources told this correspondent on Thursday that South Waziristan's
administrator Asmattullah Khan Gandapur had allowed transportation of
fruit and vegetables from the region for 10 days.
The relaxation, however, would not apply to shops and markets owned
by the Ahmadzai Wazir tribe which had been were sealed in the Wana
bazaar about one month ago.
Officials said that the ban was partially lifted after a 30- member
tribal jirga of the tribe surrendered six relatives of two wanted
militants, Maulvi Abbas and Mohammad Javid, on Wednesday. The
militants themselves have so far evaded arrest.
The tribal jirga had linked the surrender of the six persons with the
opening up of roads for transporting commodities outside the region.
RADIO STATION: The first radio station set up in Fata formally
launched its transmission in South Waziristan on Thursday.
The small radio station would broadcast Pushto programmes for six
hours a day and people across the border would also be able to
receive its transmission.
The government is planning to set up more radio stations in the
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