Pakistan Air Raids Kill Dozens Of Fighters

Pakistani military jets have carried out air strikes in the northwestern tribal region bordering Afghanistan, killing dozens of rebel fighters.

The army said that more than 50 terrorists, mostly Uzbek foreigners, were believed to have been killed in the strikes on "terrorist hideouts" in North Waziristan Agency.

"Today at about 01:30 hours (20:30 GMT) a number of terrorist hideouts in Degan, Datta Khel in NWA (North Waziristan Agency) were targeted by jet aircrafts," the Pakistan army said in a statement.

"There were confirmed reports of presence of foreign and local terrorists in these hideouts who were linked in planning of Karachi airport attack," it said.

Eight hideouts were targeted in the strikes, AP news agency quoted two intelligence officials as saying.

The army said that an ammunition dump was also destroyed in the air raids.

Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporting from the northern city of Peshawar, said that "several militias were attacked, including Uzbeks responsible for carrying out attack on Karachi airport".

The air strikes came a week after a group of fighters attacked the airport in the port city in a five-hour siege that left 36 people dead, including the 10 attackers.

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Uzbek fighters and the Pakistani Taliban both claimed responsibility for the airport attack, and the Pakistani Taliban said the two had worked together to carry it out, marking an increase of armed groups working together.

Pressure has been mounting on the Pakistani government to launch a ground offensive in the Taliban stronghold of North Waziristan.

The air strikes were the second time this week the military has hit the tribal regions.

Following the brazen assault in Karachi, the US carried out two drone strikes in the region on Wednesday, the first time the controversial drone programme has been used this year.

(Aljazeera)



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