PESHAWAR: The Pakistani air force killed dozens of militants in a series of airstrikes on Monday in a tribal region along the Afghan border, the military said.
The attacks targeted militant hideouts in the Wucha Bibi area of North Waziristan, the Pakistani army said in a statement. The military’s claims could not be independently confirmed.
The Pakistani military has been battling Taliban militants in North Waziristan since mid-2014. That campaign has been stepped up after a series of suicide bombings last week killed more than 100 people–including 88 worshippers at a Sufi shrine. A combination of the Pakistani Taliban, one of its breakaway factions Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, an al-Qaida linked sectarian outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and the Islamic State group claimed the brazen attacks.
The Taliban and their affiliated Islamic militant groups have killed tens of thousands of people in a bid to overthrow the Pakistani government and install their own harsh interpretation of Islamic law.
The recent crackdown also rounded up nearly 100 Afghan refugees in southwestern city of Quetta on charges of illegally staying in the country, officials said.
Police spokesman Shahzada Farhat said at least 35 people were in police custody. Another 75 Afghans were picked up by a paramilitary force, said an official with the forces. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to talk to the media.
Pakistan has been home to 1.5 million registered and an estimated one million unregistered Afghan refugees. -AFP