At least seven soldiers and 19 militants were killed when Pakistani army launched a ground operation against militants in Pakistan’s northwest tribal area of North Waziristan Agency, the military said Monday.
Inter-Services Public Relations, the mouthpiece of Pakistani army, said in a statement that the army launched the ground offensive in an uncleared pocket of North Waziristan located near Afghan border, in an overnight operation.
Nineteen militants including five commanders were killed as the offensive triggered-off a fierce gunbattle between the insurgents and security forces, said the statement.
Being chased and cornered, one of the militants exploded his suicide vest, killing seven soldiers, said the statement.
Located along Pakistan-Afghanistan border, the North Waziristan agency is considered a bastion of local and foreign militants who plan and execute attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
On June 15 last year, the Pakistani Army launched an operation called”Zarb-e-Azb” in the agency to root out the militancy from the area.
The operation has so far killed over 2000 militants while over 80 percent of the area has been cleared of the militants so far, the army said in an earlier press briefing.