Pak air strikes kill 33 militants
Pakistani helicopter gunships yesterday attacked suspected militant hideouts in a restive tribal area on the Afghan border and killed at least 33 people, the military said.
The strikes took place in the Datta Khel and Gharlamai districts of the North Waziristan tribal district.
"In two different aerial engagements in North Waziristan today, nine terrorist hideouts were destroyed killing a total of 33 terrorists," a military statement said.
Local security officials said the militants killed in the Datta Khel area were mostly Uzbeks and others who belonged to the feared Haqqani network.
Pakistan has been battling Islamist groups in its semi-autonomous tribal belt since 2004, after its army entered the region to search for Al-Qaeda fighters who had fled across the border following the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.
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.