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Forces pound Tirah; 25 terrorists killed

11 June, 2014

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PESHAWAR: The security forces launched air strikes in Khyber Agency Tuesday, killing 25 people a day after a Taliban attack on Karachi airport that stoked rumours of an all-out offensive on insurgent strongholds.

The military said nine terrorist hideouts were destroyed in the raids, launched in apparent retaliation after the Taliban stormed Pakistan's biggest airport, killing 37 people.

The early morning air strikes are the latest in a succession of attacks carried out by the military in the tribal belt this year after talks with the TTP broke down.

The last was in North Waziristan in late May, killing at least 75 people and triggering an exodus of some 58,000 people - half of them in the past few days.

The military's death toll from Tuesday's strikes, in the Tirah Valley area, could not be independently verified. The district was also targeted in April, with aerial bombing that killed dozens.

The district is believed to be home to several militant factions, most notably Lashkar-e-Islam, led by warlord Mangal Bagh, as well the TTP and foreign fighters from Central Asia.

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