Army airstrikes kill more 23 suspected militants in Waziristan

ISLAMABAD: At least 23 suspected terrorist were killed in fresh airstrikes on militant hideouts in Ismail Khel and Zerom areas of North Waziristan Agency, Pakistani military said on Thursday.
A statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that Pakistan Army in an aerial action targeted militant hideouts in Zerom and Ismail Khel districts, killing at least 23 militants.
These claims, however, could not be independently verified as journalists have limited access to the restive tribal agency.
Military operation Zarb-i-Azb was launched by the Pakistan Army on June 15 following a brazen militant attack on Karachi’s international airport and failure of peace talks between the government and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) negotiators.
More than a million people have fled the offensive in North Waziristan, which is aimed at wiping out longstanding militant strongholds in the area, which borders Afghanistan.
Emphasizing on the need of physical fitness for a soldier, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif on Thursday reiterated that peace time training is the only guarantor for success during war. He also lauded all ranks for their unflinching resolve in the ongoing Operation Zarb-i-Azb.
General Sharif said this while witnessing the concluding ceremony of Inter Regimental Centre ‘Physical Agility and Combat Efficiency System’ (PACES) Championship held at Junior Leaders Academy Shinkiari today. 18 teams participated in the championship.
The army chief appreciated the phenomenal performance and competitive spirit and the efforts of both trainers and trainees in achieving these standards.
PACES has been introduced to further enhance physical fitness standards in the Army to successfully face challenging environment of the future battlefield. It relies on modern techniques and focuses on individuals rather than group based development.
Later, the COAS gave away trophies to winner and runner up teams and medals for best individual performances. Individual medals were won by Sepoy Gulfam, Sepoy Muhammad Zubair, Sepoy Naveed Ashraf and Sepoy Babar Ali.
Earlier on arrival at Junior Leaders Academy, the chief of army staff was received by Lieutenant General Ikramul Haq, the Inspector General Training and Evaluation.

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