30 April 2010
The battle-scarred tribal region of Orakzai, located in north-west Pakistan witnessed further attacks on Tuesday 29 April as fighter jets bombed Taliban positions, killing 26 militants and destroying some of their hideouts, according to government official Asghar Khan who spoke to Reuters.
Pakistan’s military has recently heightened operations in Orakzai. According to security officials, forces killed about 100 militants last week. However, these figures have not been independently verified.
The tribal region of Orakzai is semi-autonomous and is considered to be the bastion of the missing Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud. It is generally believed that Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in a US drone aircraft attack in January this year.
Pakistan’s military operations along its Afghan border are considered crucial to the US strategy to stabilize Afghanistan and eliminate terrorism. The cooperation of Pakistan’s military assumes even greater importance in light of the recent surge of US troops in Afghanistan in an effort to quell the raging Taliban uprising.
In the recently concluded two day strategic dialogue between the US and Pakistan held in Washington, the two countries pledged increased cooperation in eliminating militancy, with the US promising to expedite overdue military payments.