Air strikes kill 18 militants

Military said on Sunday it had killed 18 militants in air attacks in a troubled tribal district near the Afghan border. The strikes took place Saturday night in Khyber district, where the Taliban and another banned militant group the Lashkar-e-Islam have taken refuge, the military said in a statement. It said a huge cache of arms and ammunition was also destroyed.

In June the army began an offensive against militant hideouts in the North Waziristan tribal agency after a bloody raid on Karachi Airport ended faltering peace talks between the government and the Taliban.

North Waziristan is a major base for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.

The United States has long called for action against militant groups in North Waziristan, who have used the area as a staging post for attacks against NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Army says it has killed more than a thousand militants and lost 86 soldiers since the start of the operation.