Islamabad: Pakistan's indigenously-developed armed drone 'Burraq' has been tested in live combat against militants in the strategic Tirah Valley region of Khyber tribal district near Afghan border and killed senior commanders of the insurgents, according to a media report.
The area in the volatile northwest tribal region has been the scene of fierce fighting between the Pakistani military and a potpourri of militants for nearly two weeks.
The military now claims to have achieved 'significant successes 'in what a report in The Express Tribune says has "turned the tide" against the militants.
Remotely-piloted aircraft 'Burraq' and laser-guided missile 'Burq' were tested on March 14, but much before the drone was publicly showcased it had been tested in live combat against militants in the Tirah Valley, the yesterday's report said, quoting officials.
"The officials would not say how many targets have been taken out with the help of 'Burraq' but they claimed that senior militant commanders, including those from Mangal Bagh's Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), were killed in Pakistani drone strikes.
"They have built bunkers in the mountains covered by a wall which initially made it difficult for us to target," one security official said.
"However, their movements were tracked and their hideouts destroyed with the help of laser-guided missiles," he added.
On March 18, a gathering of militants was targeted in a border village in Tirah and some reports said that TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah was killed which has not been confirmed so far.
Pakistan Army said over 80 militants were killed and the forces have captured important hilltops.
The Tirah operation turned out to be more difficult as three militant factions including LI, TTP and Jamaatul Ahrar put tough resistance.
Pakistan has so far not said anything officially about use of drone against militants.