Pakistan jet fighters kill 20 militants

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PESHAWAR: Pakistani jet fighters and helicopter gunships began airstrikes in a northwestern tribal district on Tuesday, killing more than 20 militants in retaliation for two recent bombings targeting the military, officials said.

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The bombardment came a day after a suicide attack in a market next to Pakistan’s military headquarters that killed 13 people including eight soldiers and three children.

On Saturday, a vehicle-born suicide bomb in the restive northwestern city of Bannu killed 26 people, the deadliest attack on Pakistan’s military in several years.

Both attacks were claimed by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

The focus of Tuesday’s air strikes was North Waziristan tribal district, a stronghold for Taliban and Al-Qaeda linked militants.

Jet fighters began pounding targets around 12:30 a.m. (1930 Monday GMT), an official said, and were later joined by helicopter gunships.

“More than 20 militants were killed and at least 15 wounded. Jet fighters also destroyed militant hideouts,” said a security official.

The official said “some foreigners and a commander of the Punjabi Taliban were among those killed.”

AFP

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