Pak likely to expand military operation in tribal area
Islamabad: Pakistan is likely to launch another full-fledged military operation against militants in Pakistan`s Khyber tribal agency with over 1,000 security personnel deployed in Bara area of the region, local media reports said on Monday.
Security forces equipped with artillery guns and rocket launchers were stationed in different parts of Bara Tehsil on Sunday, Xinhua quoted private newspaper The News as saying.
The decision about deploying security forces and launching a fresh operation against militants in the tribal area was taken by the Pakistani government after several bomb blasts killed scores of people in nearby Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province (NWFP), the newspaper quoted sources as saying.
The sources disclosed that the operation would be launched in Khyber and Orakzai agencies simultaneously to purge the two tribal regions of militants and protect the provincial metropolis and other major cities from militant attacks.
Peshawar has seen a wave of bombings over the last couple of weeks as the army presses an offensive against Taliban militants in South Waziristan tribal area bordering Afghanistan.
It is believed that suicide bombers are being trained in the neighbouring Orakzai agency and then sent to parts of NWFP, particularly Peshawar city, via Bara in Khyber agency.
The sources added that fleeing militants from South Waziristan also used to sneak into Peshawar and other NWFP districts.
Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Saturday said that more troops will be dispatched to tribal areas, hinting at launching a full-scale operation in Peshawar and its adjoining areas to prevent more bomb blasts in the provincial capital.
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