43 militants killed in Pakistani army airstrike in tribal area

09:14, May 17, 2010      

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Pakistani fighter jets Sunday pounded at militants in the northwest Orazkai tribal area, killing up to 43 militants and destroying several militants hideouts, local sources said.

The army jets pounded two havens of extremists in Upper Orakzai Agency areas, killing 43 extremists present there and injuring some others.

Sources said five troops were also killed in the offensive.

The forces operation is in progress for 50 days now and at least 700 extremists have been killed in the operation and their 80 havens including 20 training centers were devastated.

Thousands of troops have been taking part in the Orakzai operation launched in mid-March. The Orakzai operation has not been much publicized by the army.

The army said troops have secured important heights in the area and have also seized arms and ammunition. It said troops have taken control of most areas of the agency and were advancing towards upper Orakzai.

There is no independent confirmation of the casualties as journalists have no access to the tribal regions.

UN officials say that over 200,000 people have fled Orakzai since the fighting. Officials say that most of the Taliban militants from South Waziristan tribal region have moved into Orakzai agency.

Source: Xinhua
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