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105 militants killed as Pak jets bomb North Waziristan

PTI 16 Jun 2014, 10:51:54 AM IST
Islamabad: At least 105 militants, including the Uzbek mastermind of the Karachi airport attack, were killed on Sunday in early morning raids by air force bombers in Pakistan's troubled northwestern tribal region.

The jets bombed hideouts of terrorists in Degan and Dattakhel areas of North Waziristan at about 1.30am local time.

The army said in statement that there were confirmed reports of presence of foreign and local terrorists in these hideouts, who were involved in planning of the Karachi airport attack last week.

"As a result of ... precise and targetted air strikes, 8 hideouts of terrorists in North Wazirastan Agency were destroyed, killing 105 terrorists, most of them Uzbeks," the army said in a statement.

A security official said that the Uzbek mastermind of the Karachi attack was also killed in the strikes.

"As of now North Wazirastan Agency has been isolated by deploying troops along its border with neighbouring agencies and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) regions to prevent militants from going in and out of the Agency," the statement said.

"Afghan security forces — Afghan National Army and Afghan Border Police — have also been requested to seal the border on their side to facilitate elimination of terrorists who attempt to escape across the border. They have also been requested to initiate immediate measures to eliminate TTP (Tehrik-e-Taliban) terrorists and their sanctuaries in Kunar, Nuristan and other areas of Afghanistan," it said.
The strikes were the first military response to last Sunday's brazen assault at Karachi's Jinnah International Airport which killed 37 people including the 10 attackers.

Pressure has been mounting on Pakistan to react after the airport attack.

At least 25 militants were killed on Tuesday when fighter jets pounded targets in the tribal region.

The US also carried out two drone strikes in North Waziristan the same day in which 16 militants perished, including 10 from the dreaded Haqqani network.

This was the first time the controversial CIA drone strikes were launched this year.