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Pakistan Offensive Against Taliban

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Pakistan Offensive Against Taliban

30000 pakistani troops have begun there long waited offensive against the Taliban stronghold in South Waziristan where they have been massing for months.

The Pakistan Army has mounted a three pronged ground  attack and air and artillery strikes have been going on for weeks against militant targets near the border.

Ther are 2 divisions of the pakistan army with 28000 soldiers, The frontier Corps and paramilitary forces from tribal areas who are likely to assist the pakistani army are up against an unknown number of Taliban militants, with estimates ranging from 10500 to 25000.

Thousands of civilians have fled the area and almost all communication in the area has been jammed.

The ground troops were moving from the northern town of Razmak, between North and South Wazirstan; from Jandola in the east; and from Shakai in the west and have been reported moving towards Makeen, Spinkai Raghzai and Tiarza (see map below).

The Pakistan government has been under a lot of pressure from the US to confront the problems in South Waziristan for some time now and it has finally come to a head after Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani attended a meeting of the Pakistan’s  senior political and military leadership.

South Waziristan was considered to be the leading sanctuary of the Taliban outside of Afghanistan since 9/11. It has been described by US officials as “The most dangerous place on earth”. There are also numerous training camps for suicide bombers located there.

It will be a tough battle especially if the number of militants is as large as some estimates have predicted. The taliban know the area well and will set up ambushes and entrench themselves, and could prove very difficult to remove, but the Pakistan army is much better armed with tanks as support, Cobra gunships, F-16 jets and much better maintained equipment.

We can only hope that this will be ended quickly to minimise the loss of life on both sides.

Here is a map of the area.

South Waziristan

I will keep you posted.

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