Pakistan military says 20 militants killed in air strikes

pakistanPakistan’s military said it killed 20 militants Saturday in air strikes on a tribal region near the Afghan border, as part of a major offensive against insurgents that began last year.

The strikes took place near the Datta Khel area in North Waziristan tribal region.

“At least 20 terrorists were killed in aerial strikes,” the military said in a statement.

The conflict zone is off-limits to journalists, so there is no way to independently verify the number and identity of those killed.

Pakistan has been battling a homegrown Islamist insurgency for over a decade following the late 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

The army began a major campaign against Taliban and other militant strongholds in the North Waziristan tribal area in June last year.

Authorities have since vowed to intensify operations, using air strikes, artillery and mortars to take back territory both in the border regions and other parts of the country.

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