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Militants Who Fled Into Afghanistan During Military Operations Return To Waziristan

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Around 3000 militants that fled into neighbouring Afghanistan during Operation Zarb-e-Azb have returned to North Waziristan.

In the past month, attacks on security forces have led to the deaths of around a dozen security personnel, raising fears about the return of Taliban in North Waziristan.

According to a report in Independent Urdu, a top government official has said that in the last three months, militants of the Hafiz Gul Bahadur faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), who had crossed the border into Afghanistan during military operations, have returned.

The official said that the militants had not set up bases in North Waziristan but had only returned to their hometowns.

Moreover, he cited official figures and said that around 3000 militants who had fled across the border had returned to North Waziristan. The official also said that it was difficult to take action against them as they were present among ordinary civilians, going on with their lives but still partaking in extremist activities.

The report in Independent Urdu also quoted Khyber Pakhtunkhwa MPA Mir Qalam Wazir as saying that Taliban members had returned to North Waziristan.

Wazir revealed that these armed Taliban members patrolled the streets at night. Wazir further said that not only have attacks on security forces increased, but the target killings of civilians, especially youngsters, has increased too.

Prior to Operation Zarb-e-Azb, North Waziristan was considered the stronghold of militants, with Al-Qaeda, Haqqani Taliban and Chechan militants having their bases in the area.

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