Pakistani helicopter gunships killed at least 14 people and wounded six others today as part of what the nation’s state media is calling a “full-scale” offensive against several districts in the Orakzai Agency.
Pakistan’s Army had previously launched a several month long offensive in March, claiming to have killed around 1,000 militants in Orakzai but also displacing about a quarter of a million people from their homes. Officials claimed that offensive “cleared the agency of terrorists” but occasional attacks have continued since then.
The last Orakzai offensive came on the heels of an invasion of South Waziristan, as officials said the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leadership fled from South Waziristan to Orakzai. Despite the large death tolls in both agencies, none of the major leaders were ever found and remain at large.
The new offensive so far appears to be confined to a few districts, and claims aside it is far from clear if it will be on anything resembling the scale of this year’s previous offensive.