38 militants killed in air strikes in Pakistan
Last Updated: Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 20:25
Peshawar: Pakistani fighter jets bombed several militant hideouts in the restive Orakzai tribal region of northwest Pakistan near the Afghan border on Tuesday killing 38 militants and injuring over 30 others.

Twenty militants were killed and 10 injured when fighter jets bombed a base set up by the rebels in a state-run school and dispensary in Arganjo area of Orakzai Agency, official sources said.

Over 150 rebels have died in a fresh offensive against the Taliban in the restive Orakzai tribal region.

Mamozai is considered a stronghold of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. Another 10 rebels were killed and 22 injured when gunship helicopters bombarded compounds of a militant faction led by commander Nazir in Khwastori area.

Five hideouts were destroyed in the air strikes.

Earlier in the day, eight militants were killed and three hideouts destroyed when jets bombarded the Anjani area of Orakzai Agency.

Pakistani troops backed by artillery, gunship helicopters and jets launched a fresh campaign against pro-Taliban militants in Orakzai Agency about a week ago.

The military claims over 150 rebels have been killed in the offensive but the figure cannot be independently verified as journalists are barred from reporting from the conflict zone.

Fresh contingents of security forces have reached the areas where militants belonging to outlawed Taliban factions led by Mullah Toofan and Noor Jamal are active.

In a separate development, police in Hangu district of the North West Frontier Province arrested five suspected militants during raids.

District police chief Farid Khan Bangash said investigators expected the arrested men to make "important revelations" during interrogation.

Meanwhile, a large number of residents of Orakzai Agency have begun fleeing to Hangu and Kohat districts of the NWFP to escape the fighting.


First Published: Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 20:25

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