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Pakistan airstrikes kill 15 Taliban militants

4 years ago337 views

Originally published on February 20, 2014

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Pakistani fighter jets launched airstrikes on Taliban hideouts in a northwestern tribal area early Thursday (February 20), killing at least 15 insurgents.

"We received information about militant hideouts and based on our intelligence, precision strikes were carried out around midnight in the Mir Ali area," an intelligence official told Reuters.

AFP reported that the airstrikes were carried out at around 12:30 a.m. and lasted for more than an hour. The Taliban compound was burnt down, and authorities said "a huge cache of arms and ammunition" had been destroyed in the operation. At least 15 Taliban militants were killed in the operation, with 13 foreign fighters among the dead.

The air offensive came three days after the collapse of peace talks between the Pakistani government and the Taliban. The militant group on Sunday claimed that it had executed 23 soldiers who had been kidnapped since 2010 in retaliation for the killings of their fighters by the army.

Many have been skeptical of the effectiveness of peace talks, which Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced on January 29. The Pakistani Taliban has been beset by internal strife, and it is unlikely a deal with the central leadership will lead to peace in the country.

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