Pakistan Kills 1,200 Militants in 5-Month Offensive

Pakistan Kills 1,200 Militants  in 5-Month OffensivePakistan Kills 1,200 Militants  in 5-Month Offensive

The Pakistani army has killed 1,200 suspected militants in an anti-Taliban offensive during the past five months, seriously reducing the group’s ability to carry out attacks, senior officers said on Sunday during a rare trip to the conflict zone.

The ongoing operation has targeted the militant stronghold in North Waziristan, a mountainous region that borders Afghanistan and has acted as a staging post for deadly attacks in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, Reuters reported.

Another 230 had been arrested, and around 132 tons of explosive recovered so far, said Major General Zafarullah Khan, the officer in charge of North Waziristan.

The militants generally rely on bombs and ambushes to engage the military rather than risking an open battle. On Sunday, officials said four soldiers were killed and at least eight were missing after an attack on their check post in North Waziristan’s Datta Khel region.

Khan would not be drawn on how long the operation might take. Most of the civilian population of North Waziristan - estimated are around a million people - were ordered to leave before the operation began.

Many now face a harsh winter away from their homes and businesses, reliant on food aid and cramped quarters with relatives. When they return, many will find their homes destroyed in the fighting.