Pakistan’s armed forces started an operation in the North Waziristan tribal area near the border with Afghanistan hours after its jet fighters attacked militant hideouts in the area, killing at least 80 insurgents.
The offensive will target “local and foreign terrorists who have waged war against the state of Pakistan, stunting economic growth and causing enormous loss of life and property,” the military said in a statement from Rawalpindi.
The government’s decision comes after last week’s attack on the Karachi international airport, which left 38 people dead, and dealt a blow to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s attempts to broker peace with the Tehreek-e-Taliban, or TTP. Since 2001, 50,000 Pakistanis have lost their lives in terrorist attacks nationwide.
The armed forces plan to eliminate militants along with their sanctuaries, according to the statement. “These enemies of the state will be denied space anywhere across the country,” it said.