Islamabad, Oct.18 (ANI): The Pakistan Army has kick started, what is being seen as the 'mother of all battles', against the Taliban in South Warisitan, the region believed to be the stronghold of the extremists.
Announcing the launch of Operation Rah-e-Nijat (Path of Salvation), military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said the ground troops have started advancing towards the 'centre of gravity of terrorism in Pakistan' from three different directions.
"The ground offensive has started.The headquarters of the defunct Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) will be surgically targeted to dismantle the network of the terror outfit," The Daily Times quoted Major General Abbas, as saying.
After receiving a green signal from the government for the offensive, security forces shut down all link roads to and from Waziristan and jammed all mobile and telecommunication systems in Dera Ismail Khan, Tank, Lakki Marwat and Bannu districts.
According to private television, about 30 Taliban insurgents were killed in Kotkai, Makeen and Ladah regions in bombings carried out by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter jets.
Initial reports coming out of the war zone said that the military was facing 'stiff resistance' from the extremists.
Large numbers of people have left the region fearing an intense battle between the military and the extremists. Hordes of people have started arriving in Peshawar, Bannu and North Waziristan
According to the United Nations (UN) more than 80,000 civilians have already fled from South Waziristan in anticipation of the offensive.(ANI)