*Curfew imposed in region, all link roads to and from Waziristan blocked
* Mobile, telecommunication systems jammed
* Taliban putting up stiff resistance
* Offensive may be completed within eight weeks
* 30 Taliban killed in airstrikes
* Four soldiers killed, 12 injured in clashes
* Tens of thousands of civilians flee area in anticipation of offensive

The military launched its long-awaited Operation Rah-e-Nijat (Path of Salvation) late on Friday night, combating the Hakeemullah Mehsud-led Pakistani Taliban in South Waziristan on three different fronts to neutralise the “centre of gravity of terrorism” in Pakistan, a military spokesman and several senior officials said.

The ground offensive comes hours after the country’s military and political leaders agreed to stage the final assault on the “headquarters of terrorism” following a wave of terror attacks throughout the country in the past two weeks.

“The ground offensive has started,” military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told Daily Times. “The headquarters of the defunct Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) will be surgically targeted to dismantle the network of the terror outfit,” the APP news agency quoted him as stating on a radio programme. He said intelligence reports had revealed around 80% of the terror attacks in the country originated from South Waziristan, adding about 1,500 foreign terrorists were believed to be hiding in the area in addition to the locals.

Daily Times