Home > News > World
Sunday February 23, 2014 MYT 6:46:00 PM
Sunday February 23, 2014 MYT 6:46:54 PM
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistani fighter jets attacked suspected militant hideouts in the tribal areas on the Afghan border on Sunday, killing at least 18 insurgents, officials said, the third in a series of air strikes since last week.
The air strikes took place after peace negotiations with Taliban insurgents broke down last week and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif authorised the army on February 20 to launch raids against militants in the volatile region on the Afghan border.
"Fighter jets pounded training facilities of the terrorists in Tirah Valley early on Sunday," said one military official.
He said the destroyed facilities were used to train suicide bombers and make explosives.
There were no immediate reports of civilian casualties.
Despite the violence, both sides insist they are still open for negotiations. Most observers are sceptical about the peace process as well as talking to a group which has killed 40,000 people since the start of its operations in 2007.
The Taliban told the government last week there was no chance of peace in the country unless Pakistan changed its political and legal system and officially embraced Islamic law.
This year has been marked by a surge in violence across the country and Sharif is under intense pressure from hawks in the army to mount a tougher military response against the militants.
Speculation has been growing in past weeks that the army might be preparing for a big ground and air offensive against the insurgents holed up in the North Waziristan region, but so far raids have been limited to short aerial operations.
On Saturday, at least nine people were killed in helicopter gunship raids in the Hangu district. On February 20, at least 15 people died when fighter jets bombed the Mir Ali area of the tribal belt straddling the Afghan border.
As violence spread, at least eight people, mainly Shi'ite Muslims, were killed in an explosion in the north-western district of Kohat on Sunday, police said.
(Reporting by Jibran Ahmed, Saud Mehsud and Syed Raza Hassan, Writing by Maria Golovnina; Editing by Ron Popeski)
Taliban hideouts revealed as Pakistan army seizes militant redoubt
Pakistan bombs militant hideouts in tribal area after Taliban attacks
Pakistan fighter jets target militant hideouts near Afghan border
Pakistan jets pound militant hideouts, killing 38
Italy regional votes to test public mood on Renzi
West not expected to demand Iran atom bomb 'mea culpa' in deal
Putin says Russia not isolated over Ukraine, blames West for frosty ties
Tunisians vote for first freely elected president
Iran nuclear talks may be extended as U.S. sees 'big gaps'
Under Modi, Israel and India forge deeper business ties
Through the lens: Asian Face of Islam in New Zealand
Big ask for Malaysia to retain Axiata Cup
Girl questioned over Yik Yak threat that closed California school
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)