Home Latest News Airstrikes Kill 28 Militants, Say Officials

Airstrikes Kill 28 Militants, Say Officials

by AFP
File Photo

File Photo

Strikes took place in Datta Khel, with Army reporting over 1,000 militants have been killed in Zarb-e-Azb so far.

Pakistan’s military on Tuesday said it had killed 28 militants in airstrikes in the restive tribal region near the Afghan border, a region where it has been battling Islamist groups for more than a decade.

The strikes, that also killed a number of foreign fighters, took place on Tuesday in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan, a stronghold of Taliban-linked groups, the military said in a statement.

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 that had fled across the border following the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.

In June, the Army began Operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan after a bloody raid on Karachi’s airport ended faltering peace talks between the government and militants.

North Waziristan is a major base for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, which began its campaign against the state in 2007 and also provides shelter to a number of foreign militant groups. The United States has long called for action against militant groups in North Waziristan who have used the area as a staging post for attacks against NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s Army says it has killed more than 1,000 militants and lost 86 soldiers since the start of the operation. But the toll and identity of those killed is difficult to verify because journalists do not have regular access to the conflict zones. Critics charge that many of the dead were non-combatants.

In July, an airstrike in North Waziristan that the military said killed 35 militants in fact claimed the lives of 37 civilians, according to multiple accounts by residents.

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