Civilians fleeing North Waziristan wait in a line of traffic to clear a check post near Darra Adam Khel on June 16, 2014. The Pakistani Taliban on June 16 warned foreign firms to leave the country and vowed retaliatory strikes against the government after tanks, ground troops and jets were deployed in a long-awaited offensive in a troubled tribal district. AFP PHOTO/A MAJEED Image Credit: AFP

Islamabad: Pakistani security forces killed 27 more militants in air strikes on Monday, raising the insurgent toll to 167 over two days in North Waziristan tribal region.

The country’s military said armed forces had launched an all-out operation in the region.

Six soldiers were killed while three were injured due to an IED explosion between Afghan border and Ghulam Khan area in North Wazirastan, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.

Three other soldiers were injured on Monday night in an exchange of fire with militants in Mirali town.

Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif said “Operation Zarb-e-Azb” would continue “until the elimination of terrorism”, as he addressed participants of a security and war course at the National Defence University in Islamabad on Monday.

The menace of terrorism will be wiped out by destroying terrorists’ hideouts, the army chief said.

Early in the morning jet aircraft carried out “precise strikes” on militant hideouts in North Waziristan Agency in Shawal area, killing 27 “terrorists”, the military statement said.

On Sunday aerial raids in Degan-Boya area in North Wazirastan were “very successful, in which 140+ terrorists were killed,” it said.

Most of those killed were members of Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and their affiliates.

“It was a massive blow to the terrorists and one of their main communication centre has been dismantled,” the statement said.

Security has been beefed up in all major cities and towns and at sensitive installations across the country by the civil administration.

Army troops have been alerted and forward placed to assist law enforcement agencies and will remain at designated places and whenever asked by civil administration will be employed in case of emergency, the ISPR said.

“The operation in North Waziristan Agency is progressing as per plan. No operation in civilian-populated areas has been started so far, the statement said.

North Wazirastan has been isolated by deploying troops along its border with neighbouring FATAs (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) to “block any movement of terrorists” in and out of North Waziristan.

“Troops have cordoned off all terrorists bases, including the town of Mirali and Miranshah. Seven fleeing terrorists killed on the outskirts of Mirali last night.”

Meanwhile, three militants were killed while laying improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in a separate sniper operation by a Special Service Group close to Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan.

The ISPR statement said security has been beefed up all along Pak-Afghan border to catch fleeing militants.

Afghanistan’s National Army and Border Police have also been requested to seal the border on their side to facilitate the elimination of militants fleeing across the border.

They have also been requested to initiate immediate measures to eliminate TTP (Tehrek-e-Taliban Pakistan) militants and their sanctuaries in Kunar, Nuristan and other areas of Afghanistan, the statement said.

“An orderly and dignified evacuation of civil population” out of North Waziristan is being ensured, the military said.

Necessary Logistics and administrative arrangements for the internally displaced people (IDP) have been completed by political administration and Disaster Management Agency.

Registration points and IDP camps have been established at Bannu, the garrison town in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has invoked a state of red alert in all the hospitals and other health institutions across the province.

Staff leave requests have also been cancelled with immediate effect.

The health department has issued a notification in this connection directing all the heads of hospitals ensure availability of staff especially at Emergency Departments.