Army aviation helicopters destroyed a militants’ training camp and an ammunition dump in Shawal Valley of North Waziristan, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement on Tuesday.
The gunship helicopters targeted the hideouts in Gurbaz. “There are reports of several terrorists being killed,” ISPR added.
The airstrike comes a day after a senior officer and a soldier of Pakistan Army were killed in a gunfight with terrorists in a thickly-forested strategic valley near the border with Afghanistan where hardcore militants have regrouped after fleeing a major military offensive in North Waziristan Agency.
Six terrorists were also killed in the firefight that took place in Shawal Valley where the military last week launched the much-awaited ground offensive following weeks of air raids against the bases of suspected militants. Nearly 100 suspected terrorists had been killed in the aerial strikes.
The densely forested ravines of Shawal and Datta Khel are popular smuggling routes between Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan, and are infested with hideouts of militants used as launch pads for attacks on Pakistani forces.
Homegrown Taliban militants and their foreign cohorts used to control North Waziristan Agency, including Shawal Valley and Datta Khel, and runs along the Afghan border. But Pakistan Army wrenched back the control of most of the region in a major offensive, codenamed Zarb-e-Azb, launched in mid-June, last year.
Since May, the military has stepped up operations in Shawal, where Taliban militants are still holed up. With the launch of ground offensive in Shawal, Operation Zarb-e-Azb has entered the final stage.
Further, on Monday in a meeting with Air Chief Air Marshal Sohail Aman on Monday at the GHQ in Rawalpindi, army chief General Raheel Sharif vowed to eliminate terrorists even from the remotest pockets in North Waziristan at all costs. According to the ISPR, the army and air chiefs discussed progress on ongoing operation in Shawal Valley. Air Marshal Aman assured full support to the army in the ongoing offensive against terrorists.