Militants targeted

Pakistani air strikes have killed 31 militants and a suspected US drone strike killed another seven, officials said, as local troops press a six-month offensive in tribal regions along the Afghan border.

The air strikes in the Tirrah valley of the Khyber region destroyed four militant hideouts and a suicide bomber training centre. The military said several would-be suicide bombers were among the dead.

The operation in Khyber is aimed at militants who fled a massive offensive in neighbouring North Waziristan that was launched on June 15. The offensive has resulted in the killing of 1,200 militants, the army said.

Last month’s school massacre in Peshawar — in which 150 people were killed, mainly children — is believed to have been launched from Khyber. The attack prompted Afghanistan and Pakistan to vow tougher action along the porous border. Two Pakistani intelligence officials said US drone-fired missiles struck a militant compound in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan, killing seven militants and wounding four. The compound, 330m from the Afghan border, was used by fighters loyal to Pakistani Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur as well as Uzbek militants.


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