Peshawar: Having pledged to eliminate terrorists from Pakistan in the wake of ghastly Peshawar school attack by the Taliban, the country's Army has intensified anti-terror strikes, killing dozens of militants in Tirah valley area of Khyber tribal region.
In the aftermath of the heinous Peshawar Army Public School massacre that killed 148 including 132 children, the Army has stepped up anti-terror strikes in line with the order of PM Nawaz Sharif, who yesterday said that Operation Zarb-e-Azb to weed out the militants will continue until all the militants were chased to their hideouts and killed.
According to Asim Bajwa, DG ISPR, the Pakistani Army carried out over 20 strikes overnight in Tirah valley and managed to kill 57 terrorists.
#COAS reviews ops post APS incident.20 air strikes including dynamic targeting,launched in Tirah,Khyber.57 terrorists killed.Ops continues
— AsimBajwaISPR (@AsimBajwaISPR) December 17, 2014
Meanwhile, according to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Home Department, Peshawar attackers' blood samples have been sent for DNA testing.
Earlier, Pakistani officials said that the attack on the Army Public School was planned by 16 senior Talibani officials including chief Maulana Fazlullah.
The massacre was planned by 16 top Taliban leaders at a meeting held in Afghanistan in early December, the PTI quoted a Pak official as saying.
Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah, his deputy Sheikh Khalid Haqqani and Taliban commanders Hafiz Saeed (different one from JuD chief), Hafiz Doulat and Qari Saifullah were part of the planning among others, the official added.
However, in a new statement emailed by Pakistani Taliban, Mohammad Khurasani, the spokesman for the banned group said that the operation was masterminded by Umer Mansoor, a Taliban military chief in the Dara Adam Khel region in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The spokesperson added that throughout the attack, Mansoor was in contact with the six terrorists who carried out the massacre.
Meanwhile, the city of Peshawar wears a sad look as the air is still heavy with the grief and echoes of the screams let out by devastated parents who had to bury their own children slain in the attack. The weather too is gloomy with dense fog enveloping the city and hence the traffic is thin due to zero visibility.
Army Public School – where the attack was carried out – wears a graveyard-kind look with empty classrooms and blood smeared floors.
The school is likely to re-open on 5th of January 2015, reports say. Chances are to pro-long 3 day school closing and merge with winter holidays .