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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Monday, February 19, 2018

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Hundreds of militants killed in Pakistan

Military has launched a major offensive at North Waziristan

Share on Facebook June 16, 2014, Reporter : BigNewsNet, Reader : 443

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BANNU, Pakistan - Nearly 200 militants have been killed in Pakistan's restive North Waziristan where military has launched a major offensive to "finish off" terrorists "once and for all", officials said.

The offensive, which included airstrikes, killed nearly 150 terrorists on Sunday.The military in a statement said 50 suspected terrorists were killed in the airstrikes on Monday. 

The statement said that the air strikes were conducted after specific intelligence reports about the presence of foreign and local militants.

Many of the dead were Uzbeks and other foreign fighters who were linked to last week's deadly attack on the Karachi airport.

Authorities said that the dead militants included Abu Abdul Rehman al-Maani, who is said to have orchestrated the five-hour airport siege last Sunday.

"These terrorists had waged a war against the state of Pakistan and had been disrupting our national life in all its dimensions, stunting our economic growth and causing enormous loss of life and property," the military said.

"These enemies of the state will be denied space anywhere across the country." The major operation in the Taliban stronghold prompted militants to warn foreign investors, airlines and multinational companies, which were asked to leave the country.

"We're in a state of war," Shahidullah Shahid, a spokesman for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, said in a statement.

 "Foreign investors, airlines, and multinational companies should cut off business with Pakistan immediately and leave the country or else they will be responsible for their damage themselves."

Defense Minister Khawaja Asif told CNN that the operation was the government's second option after negotiations with the Pakistani Taliban failed.

"This is the final fight," Asif said, adding that the government is ready for blowback from the operation.

"We used all means to resolve it peacefully through talks, but that was taken as our weakness. Now we have got to respond." He said that the military "won't differentiate between foreign and local militants".

"We are determined to finish them off, once and for all." Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has defended the operation. He told lawmakers on Monday that the government had tried patiently to pursue peace talks.

"On one hand we were pursuing dialogue, and on the other we were being targeted. We were pursuing talks, but from Islamabad courts to Karachi airport we were attacked."

 Sharif vowed that the operation would continue until terrorism is eliminated from Pakistan. >BNN

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