Islamabad, Jan.21 : Pakistani security forces have reportedly pressed helicopter gunships into service to root out militants from suspected hideouts in Ladha and Makin regions of South Waziristan. According to news reports from Miranshah, the security forces have shifted heavy artillery and tanks from Jandola to Chakmalay and Saplatui areas. A massive operation against militants is expected in these areas.
Sources said that the army operation follows an earlier attack by militants on a security forces camp and the cadet college in Razmak, located in North Waziristan. The cadet college suffered minor damage, while the boundary wall of the security camp was destroyed. No casualties were reported.
On Saturday, fighter planes bombed several suspected militant locations and security forces claimed that 10 militants had been killed by the aerial attack. They also said that they had captured 40 others in Chagmalai, South Waziristan last Friday.
Pakistan Air Force planes reportedly dropped bombs in Laddah, Spika Raghzai, Gorogoray and Asman Manza, damaging a number of houses and other infrastructure. Heavy artillery shelling was also reported in other areas of the troubled region.
Security forces have taken control of more strategic locations in upper Swat, pushing the militants into the inhospitable snow-capped mountainous areas of Kabal and Peuchar.
Reports said that the militants had regrouped in upper Swat after fleeing the settled areas and established their headquarters in Loe Namal from where they were launching attacks on government installations.
District Police Officer Waqif Khan was quoted by the Dawn as saying in Mingora that the law-enforcement agencies had achieved the primary target of the military operation in Swat by clearing the valley of militants and establishing the government's writ.
He said the valley would soon be cleared of the remaining handful of militants and peace would return to the area soon.