Pakistan military says 14 Taliban killed in new strikes

Air strikes in Khyber Agency region mark return of aerial operations after lapse of several months.

By Aamir Latif - KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – Pakistan’s military on Tuesday launched a fresh aerial operation in the restive Khyber Pass tribal region near the Afghanistan border, killing 14 suspected Taliban and injuring 11 others.

The renewed air strikes, according to the army's media wing – Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) – targeted militants' hideouts in the far-flung Jargal valley, one of the key mountain routes used by the Taliban for cross-border movement.

At least nine hideouts, including a huge cache of arms and ammunition, were destroyed in the aerial strikes, the ISPR said.

A senior military official wishing not to be named told Anadolu Agency the operation had been launched following a regrouping of militants in the region.

Tuesday's air strikes are the latest to have been carried out after a lapse of several months. Pakistan’s army, which launched a full-scale onslaught on two key tribal areas – North Waziristan and Khyber Pass– in June 2014, claims to have cleared militants from 90 percent of the region.

The army claims to have killed over 4,500 suspected militants in the two tribal areas, whereas nearly 500 soldiers have lost their lives in landmine blasts and clashes with Taliban since June 2014.

The operation also displaced nearly 1.5 million tribesmen; of these, 30 percent have returned to their homes.




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