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Pakistan air force pounds militant hideouts, 13 killed

Pakistani fighter aircraft on Saturday targeted alleged militants in northwestern tribal region, killing at least 13, officials said. The airstrikes were carried out in Maomazai area of Orakzai district, one of seven tribal regions, and a known hotbed of Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters. A security official said on the condition of anonymity that air power was mobilised after an attack against a military vehicle in the area on Friday.

“Yes, the jets have hit the militants hideouts and our information shows that at least 13 miscreants have been eliminated in the targeted strikes,” he said.

On Friday, a roadside bomb hit a Frontier Corps vehicle in the restive region, killing one officer and five soldiers. Three troops were also injured.

Khalid Khan Omarzai, senior civilian administrator in neighbouring Kohat district, confirmed the airstrikes but did not confirm the death toll.

“They have suffered losses in the air attacks but I cannot give you the exact figure of their deaths,” he said by phone.

Pakistan troops launched an offensive against the militants in Orakzai in March to uproot Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters.

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