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Pak fighter jets pound militant hideouts in NWA; 15 killed

20 February, 2014

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PESHAWAR: At least 15 militants were killed Thursday as Pakistani fighter jets targeted suspected militant hideouts in three different tehsils of North Waziristan tribal region.

According to the sources, the aircraft bombarded suspected militant hideouts in Mir Ali area of North Waziristan as part of surgical strikes which they said should not be taken as military operation. The strike killed 15 militants that included both locals and foreigners.

They said that the strikes were carried out after the military leaders took the civilian government into confidence citing potential threats to the people of Pakistan from terrorists holed up in their safe havens in the country's tribal belt.

Official sources told that militant hideouts in Dattakhel, Shawan and Mir Ali Tehsil were targeted.

A number of militant hideouts, arms and ammunition were also destroyed in the airstrikes.

The sources said that the attacks were aimed at protecting people of Pakistan as the militants were making plans to carry out terrorist attacks.

They added that if the government decided to launch an operation, the PAF warplanes will attack the militants in the first phase and other steps would be taken shortly after the weather conditions improve in the mountainous region.

Earlier on Jan 21, Pakistani fighter jets had pounded several suspected militant hideouts in Mir Ali area of North Waziristan agency, killing up to 40 people and injuring several others.

Moreover, military gunship helicopters had also shelled suspected militant hideouts in several areas of Mirali in North Waziristan region on Jan 27, killing two persons and wounding several others.

North Waziristan is one of the seven regions in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) governed by tribal laws. An extremist insurgency led by the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) plagues the region and the area is known to be infested with militants, including those from Al Qaeda and other armed extremist organisations.

The region, which lies along the Pak-Afghan border, also comes under attacks from US drones frequently which target militant hideouts in the area.

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