Army jets kill 38 militants in NW Pakistan air raids

February 24, 2014 7:54 am 

ISLAMABAD, Feb. 24 — Jet fighters of Pakistan army have killed 38 militants and injured several others in a series of air strikes in the country's northwest tribal area of Khyber Agency on Sunday, local officials said.

Troops killed, in a string of air raids, 38 suspected militants, while pounding their six hideouts in Tirah Valley area of Khyber Agency, a restive area at Pakistan-Afghan border, Inter Services Public Relation Committee (ISPR), a mouthpiece of Pakistan Army, said in a statement.

Some of the important commanders of various militant wings were also killed in Sunday's airstrikes which were launched at various places in the area, the statement added.

In a report, local state TV channel, Pakistan Television, said that in the airstrikes forces have also destroyed a bomb-making factory of the militants. Huge quantity of explosive materials inside the plant caught fire and reduced the plant to ashes.

This is the third major airstrike in militant insurgent areas over the last five days.

Earlier on Saturday, nine militants were killed in air attack by army jet fighters in Hangu area. In similar strikes in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency Tribal areas on Wednesday, over 40 suspected militants were killed in the military's air raid.

Pakistan Army started targeted operation against the militants in northwest tribal areas, after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gave orders for the airstrikes following consultation with top military leadership to avenge the killings of security personal by Taliban militants.

The strikes are being launched at a time when committees formed by government and militants are engaged in peace talks and are convincing both sides for cease fire. However, after repeated attacks by militants at army and civilians, military pounded their hideouts.

The air strikes set off speculations that an armed offensive has finally launched in North Waziristan and other restive tribal areas, but security officials termed the attacks as "punitive strikes." (PNA/Xinhua)

LAM/JSD

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