Airstrikes on Friday killed at least 17 militants in Pakistan’s tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, security officials said, part of a major operation against the Taliban.
The strikes came two days after the massacre of 45 minority Shia Ismaili Muslims in Karachi, claimed by the Islamic State (I.S.) and the Taliban’s Jundullah faction, which has previously reportedly allied itself to I.S.
The Air Force jets targeted militants’ hideouts on the edge of the Afghan border in the Wareka Mandi area of Shawal district in North Waziristan.
“The Air Force jets pounded the areas close to the Afghan border in thick forests and killed at least 17 militants. Three compounds and five vehicles were also destroyed in the action,” a security official in Miranshah told AFP. The official said that the killed militants included Uzbek and Afghan nationals and members of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.
Two local residents confirmed the attack to AFP.
Senior military officials based in Peshawar said they were not in a position to confirm the exact death toll but confirmed that the strikes happened in the area.
The region is remote and off-limits to journalists, making it difficult to verify the number and identity of those killed.