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30 militants killed in fresh airstrikes in Pak’s restive NW

Pakistan fighter jets

Peshawar: Pakistan fighter jets today bombed several militant hideouts in the country’s volatile northwest tribal region near the Afghan border where a major military campaign is underway, killing 30 more militants including key commanders.

The aerial strikes were carried out in remote Tirah valley of Khyber Agency as the dead also included some foreign ultras, said an Inter-Services Public Relations release.

Security forces source said jets bombed militants’ compounds in the valley and destroyed several hideouts.

At least 30 militants were killed while six were injured in the latest bombings. Around 80 militants and seven soldiers were killed in fierce clashes between security forces and terrorists in aerial and ground operations in Khyber district on Saturday.

The key commanders were among those killed in the bombing, said the security official without disclosing their identities.

Khyber is one of Pakistan’s seven semi-autonomous regions governed by tribal laws and lies near the Afghan border.

The ongoing Khyber-1 operation launched by the military in the tribal region is part of its stepped-up efforts following the massacre of 150 people, mostly students, by Taliban gunmen at an army-run school in Peshawar in December.

Militants are believed to have fled to various tribal bregions that borders Afghanistan, where they operate on both sides of the border.

Pakistani troops have been engaged in a full-scale offensive against Taliban and other militants in North Waziristan region under an operation named ‘Zarb-i-Azb’, and also in Khyber, following a Taliban-claimed attack on Karachi International Airport in June last year.

The Taliban and its allies have been waging an insurgency for more than a decade in Pakistan, seeking to install their own brand of fundamentalist Islamic rule.

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