PESHAWAR: At least 20 suspected militants were killed as Pakistan Air Force (PAF) jets destroyed a number of militant hideouts and other related targets in Khyber agency.
Security sources told media that PAF jets targeted militant hideouts in Tirah, killing five suspected militants and injuring three others.
In a separate round of airstrikes, PAF jets struck targets in Khyber’s Rajgal area, killing 15 suspected militants.
Militant hideouts and ammunition depots were targeted in Rajgal, claimed security sources.
The identity of the dead ‘militants’ and their affiliation with any outlawed organisation is yet to be ascertained.
The details could not be independently verified as access of media personnel is restricted in the region.
Tirah Valley lies astride the Pak-Afghan border between the famous Tora Bora mountains and the plains of Bara which connects with the provincial capital, thus giving it a unique strategic position.
Military operations Zarb-i-Azb and the National Action Plan were launched against insurgents following attacks on Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport and Peshawar’s Army Public School in 2014.
Since the beginning of Zarb-i-Azb, militants have fled to other tribal regions, including Khyber and its Tirah Valley and Shawal, all of which border Afghanistan.
Pakistani security forces have carried out ground offensives in Khyber Agency, particularly the Tirah Valley of Bara which borders Nazyan.
The forces cleared much of the Bara plain in Operation Khyber One launched in October 2014 while in a follow-on operation named Khyber-2 cleared the fierce Tirah terrain consisting of deep valleys and high mountains.
The number of attacks in Pakistan has fallen around 70 per cent this year, due to a combination of a military offensive against Taliban bases along the Afghan border and government initiatives to tackle militancy.