Pakistan

13 ‘terrorists’ killed, 6 hideouts bombed in Tirah air strikes

TIRAH VALLEY: At least 13 suspected terrorists were killed in military airstrikes in Tirah Valley on Thursday, ARY News reported.

According to security sources, the fighter jets also bombed six hideouts of militants in the area.

The strikes are part of a major offensive to clear Taliban and Al-Qaeda strongholds that began in 2014 in North Waziristan, one of seven Pakistani tribal districts bordering Afghanistan.

The military began an offensive in Khyber in October 2014, carrying out air strikes and using artillery, mortars and ground troops.

Overall levels of militancy-linked violence have dropped dramatically this year, with 2015 on course for the fewest deaths among civilian and security forces since 2007 — the year the Pakistani Taliban umbrella group was formed.

Pakistan has been battling Islamist groups in its semi-autonomous tribal belt since 2004 after its army entered the region to search for Al-Qaeda fighters who had fled across the border following the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

North Waziristan is a major base for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (Pakistani Taliban) as well as the Haqqani network which targets US and NATO forces across the border.

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