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24 suspected militants killed in North Waziristan after airstrikes

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Air strikes in Bannu killed at least 24 suspected militants hiding in their north-western hideouts on Monday, claimed intelligence officials.

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At the conditions of anonymity, two intelligence personnel said that the air strikes took place at about 10 am in the Zoi Nari, Lataka, Mizer Madakhel and Shawal areas of North Waziristan.

“Jet air shelling destroyed six militant hideouts and killed 24 militants hiding in this area,” said one of the personnel saying that the killed also include some foreigners.

Another official confirmed the killings but rejected comment at being asked if the strikes were in response for Sunday’s assault in Punjab, killing nine people, including the provincial security chief.

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The grimly forested canyons of Shawal Valley and Datta Khel are a smuggling way between Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan, and are strewn with militants hideouts which are used as launch pads to attack on country’s security forces.

The Pakistani wing of the hard-line Taliban used to take control of the entire mountainous North Waziristan that comprises of Shawal Valley and Datta Khel, to run beside the Afghan border. However, Pakistan military took hold of most of the regions again in chief armed operation.

Meanwhile, Nato forces had long appealed Pakistan for such an offensive, saying Taliban safe hideouts in the country were being utilized in attacking Nato and Afghan forces in Afghanistan.

On the other hand, the military has launched operations in Shawal Valley, where the Taliban are still operating freely.

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