Pakistani airstrikes kill 11 militants in tribal belt

Pakistani airstrikes kill 11 militants in tribal belt

Wed Dec 10, 2014 6:51AM GMT

Pakistan says its military has launched airstrikes against pro-Taliban militants in the country’s northwestern tribal belt near the Afghan border, killing 11 militants.

According to a statement issued on Wednesday, the air raids took place Tuesday evening in Tirah neighborhood in Khayber district, where pro-Taliban militants and members of a banned group called Lashkar-e-Islam have taken refuge.

The development comes as the Pakistani military has been waging a battle against militant groups in its semi-autonomous tribal belt since 2004, following the US-led invasion of Afghanistan that prompted the flight of al-Qaeda militants across its border.

The Pakistani army launched a major offensive against militant hideouts in North Waziristan Agency after a deadly militant raid on Karachi Airport ended the government’s faltering peace talks with pro-Taliban representatives.

Pakistan’s army claims it has killed over 1,600 militants so far, while losing 126 of its own soldiers.

However, rights groups say a large number of civilians are among those killed in the Pakistani army operations.

The North Waziristan region serves as a major base for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (Pakistani Taliban) and the Haqqani network, which targets US-led troops across the border in Afghanistan.

This comes has Pakistan’s ISI is known as the main supporter of Taliban.

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