Eight terrorists 'sent to hell': Pakistan Army on airstrikes

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Pakisyan Army Taliban TTP Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Islamabad: The Pakistan Army on Monday said eight militants, including a wanted terrorist commander, were "sent to hell" by the forces in an operation in a tribal district in the restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The statement came hours after Afghan authorities claimed that Pakistan carried out airstrikes inside its territory and killed eight persons.

The Army said in a statement that on the night of March 17-18, the security forces conducted an intelligence-based operation in North Waziristan District on the reported presence of terrorists.

“During the conduct of the operation, after intense fire exchange, eight terrorists including HVT (high-value target) Terrorist commander Sehra @Janan were sent to hell,” it said.

“He was involved in orchestrating the terrorist attack on Security Forces’ Post in Mir Ali on March 16 and was highly wanted by the law enforcement agencies.” It said that sanitisation operations are being conducted to eliminate any other terrorists found in the area as the security forces remain determined to wipe out the menace of terrorism from the country.

The statement came as Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesperson of the government, alleged in a statement that Pakistani aircraft carried out the airstrikes on Afghan soil, adding that the Afghanistan provinces of Paktika and Khost along the Pakistan border were hit by airstrikes, which killed eight persons.

Alleging that “houses of common people were targeted”, he said three women and as many children were killed in Paktika, and a house collapsed while two women were killed in Khost, where a house was destroyed as well.

The strikes came a day after Pakistan buried two officers and five soldiers who were killed in a terrorist attack in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan on Saturday.

Pakistani Taliban leader Hafiz Gul Bahadur’s group claimed responsibility for the attack. It is one of the strongest militant groups in North Waziristan. Earlier, he fled to Afghanistan following Operation Zarb-e-Azb in 2014.

President Asif Ali Zardari said after offering funeral prayers of the two officers that action would be taken against those attacking Pakistani forces.

“Pakistan has decided that whoever will enter our borders, homes or country and commit terror, we will respond to them strongly, regardless of who it is or from which country,” an army statement quoted Zardari as saying.

Pakistan has alleged that TTP militants have been living in Afghanistan and using the Afghan territory to carry out attacks on its forces after sneaking through the border.