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Air strikes kill 19 militants in Pakistan

Pakistan Air Force

Peshawar, Nov 12 (PTI) At least 19 militants including some top commanders were killed today and five of their hideouts were destroyed in aerial strikes by Pakistani military jets in volatile Khyber Agency in the country’s northwest tribal region.

The fighter jets carried out precise aerial strikes in Sandapal area of Khyber Agency, killing 19 terrorists including some top commanders, according to a statement by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

An ammunition dump and five hideouts of the terrorists were also destroyed as result of the aerial strikes, the statement added.

ISPR said that operation in Khyber Agency is progressing according to the plan and army has achieved major success.

Pakistan’s northwest tribal region, infested with insurgency, has been the hotbed of military operations aimed at clearing out the region from homegrown and foreign rebels.

Security forces launched operation Khyber-I in the region in October, after reports suggested that militants escaping another such operation, named Zarb-i-Azb, in North Waziristan were taking refuge in the mountainous Tirah Valley of Khyber.

Radio Pakistan reported yesterday that operation Khyber-I is continuing successfully and so far 135 terrorists have been killed.

Khyber is among Pakistan’s seven semi-autonomous tribal districts near the Afghan border. The key region also straddles the NATO supply line into Afghanistan.

The army says it has killed more than 1,100 militants and lost around 100 soldiers since the start of the operation Zarb-i-Azb in June after militants attacked the Karachi airport and ended a faltering peace talk between government and insurgents.

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