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Pakistan: Jets pound militants

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    Jets, gunships pound militants positions: Several mountain posts secured ... Staff Reporter WANA, July 20: Pakistan Air Force jets and army helicopter
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 24, 2004
      Jets, gunships pound militants' positions:
      'Several mountain posts secured'
      Staff Reporter
      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
      operational requirements.

      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
      the mountains.

      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
      tribal area.




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