FATA/Gilgit-Baltistan

Airstrikes kill 23 militants in Khyber, North Waziristan

PESHAWAR: Pakistani fighter jets killed 23 militants Friday in airstrikes carried out in the country’s remote tribal belt near the Afghan border, the military said in a statement.

The strikes were carried out in the Shawal area of North Waziristan and Khyber tribal district, it said.

“As a result of precise air strikes, 6 terrorists’ hideouts were destroyed in which 23 terrorists were killed and more than 10 injured,” the statement said.

The strikes were part of a major offensive aimed at clearing Taliban and Al-Qaeda strongholds that began last year in North Waziristan, one of seven Pakistani tribal districts bordering Afghanistan.

The conflict zone is remote making it difficult to independently verify  the number and identity of those killed.

The military began the offensive in Khyber in October 2014, carrying out airstrikes and using artillery, mortars and ground troops.

The army then intensified and expanded its offensive after the Taliban massacred more than 150 people, the majority of them children, at a military-run school in the northwestern city of Peshawar last December.

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