22 militants killed in North Waziristan air strikes


At least 22 suspected terrorists were killed in the wee hours of Sunday in air strikes in Datta Khel area of North Waziristan Agency.

“Twenty-two terrorists have been killed in air strikes in areas along the Pak-Afghan border in Datta Khel,” the military’s media wing, Inter Services Public Relations said in a statement.

Six hideouts were also destroying in the shelling, the statement added.

The military has stepped up air strikes against suspected terrorists in the volatile tribal region.

Pakistan Army launched a massive operation, Zarb-e-Azb, in North Waziristan in mid-June last year to purge the erstwhile stronghold of home-grown Taliban militants and their foreign cohorts. According to an official tally released on the first anniversary of the offensive, 2,700 militants have been killed and many more wounded in combat.

Most parts of the agency have been cleansed of militants, while troops are now closing in on the remaining militants holed up in Shawal Valley on the Pak-Afghan border. Hundreds of thousands of tribesmen displaced by fighting have started returning to their homes in North Waziristan under the government supervision.

Following Operation Zarb-e-Azb, the military had launched another operation in the strategic Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency in mid-October, last year against the Mangal Bagh-led Lashkar-e-Islam extremist group and its Taliban supporters


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