Pakistani army declares victory in Orakzai tribal area

15:49, June 02, 2010      

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Pakistani military has declared a victory in the troubled Orakzai agency in the northwest tribal areas of Pakistan, as over 1,000 militants have been killed during the past two months in an attempt to cleanse the region of militancy and terrorism.

A military statement on Tuesday declared the victory in the restive Orakzai agency tribal area over Taliban insurgency and announcing the end of the year-long operation against militants in the tribal areas bordering Pakistan. The operation Rah-e-Nijaat, or Road to Salvation, started on May 6, 2009 to clean up the area of militants generally having association with al-Qaeda.

Several dozens of militants' hideouts were also destroyed while scores of Pakistani security personnel were killed combating the militants in the troubled region, an official told Xinhua Wednesday on the condition of anonymity, without disclosing the exact number of casualties on both sides.

Meanwhile, at least 10 militants were killed by Pakistani security forces in Shahu Khel area on Wednesday morning. The security forces have killed the militants in retaliation to an attack on their checkpoint while one security personnel was wounded in the incident, official sources said.

The Pakistani Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani recently toured the Orakzai and Kurram agencies, said a statement of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) from the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

Pakistani military chief's trip has also brought a fresh wave of breeze to some 200,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), who had fled the area following the operation that they could expect to return soon.

The army chief appreciated the professional conduct of the operation, the statement said, adding, "Kayani's visit to Orakzai Agency marked the successful conclusion of operations in the agency."

Local media reported that in meetings with tribal elders in Kurram and Orakzai agencies, General Kayani thanked them for their support in the operations and reassured normalcy in the region.

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