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Pakistan says 53 ‘terrorists’ killed in airstrikes near Afghanistan

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Pakistan’s military says its aircraft have carried out strikes on areas held by pro-Taliban militants near the border with Afghanistan, killing 53 “terrorists.”

“In precise aerial strikes, 53 terrorists including some foreigners were killed,” the Pakistani military said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to the military, the offensive occurred in a tribal region near the town of Datta Khel, which is located in North Waziristan.

The statement also added, “Six terrorist hideouts, an ammunition dump and seven explosive-laden vehicles were also destroyed.”

Pakistan has intensified its anti-terror campaign following a December 16, 2014, attack on an army-run school in the city of Peshawar, which claimed the lives of more than 140 people, 134 of them children.

Following the Peshawar attack, Pakistan lifted the moratorium on the death penalty in place for about six years. Seven militants have since been hanged and two more will be executed on Wednesday.

The Pakistani army started an operation against militant hideouts in North Waziristan in June 2014, after a deadly raid on the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi ended the government’s faltering peace talks with pro-Taliban militants.

The semi-autonomous tribal regions on Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan have been a hideout for Takfiri militant groups, including al-Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban, during the past years.

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