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44 militants killed in Tirah

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BARA: Forty-four militants were killed and several others sustained injuries when Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter aircraft pounded their hideouts in the Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency on Wednesday, official sources said.

The sources said the fighter aircraft targeted the hideouts of proscribed militant organisations, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) in Kukikhel, Kamarkhel and Sepah areas of Tirah Valley.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) through a statement said that 34 terrorists were killed and several others were wounded in the first air strike in the Kukikhel area.

It said the aircraft carried out the second air strike on the sanctuaries of LI and TTP in Nari Baba, Nagrosa and Tarkhukas in Tirah Valley, where 10 more militants were killed and several others were wounded.Official sources said that 44 militants of the LI and TTP were killed and several others were injured in the two intense air strikes on Wednesday.

Also, the sources claimed that several hideouts of militants were destroyed in the bombardment.According to official sources, at least 92 militants have been killed and several injured in the air strikes within the last week.

An official said security forces had cleared Shalobar, Malikdinkhel, Kamarkhel, Qambarkhel, Sepah and Khajuri areas in Bara tehsil in the recently-concluded Operation Khyber-1 in Khyber Agency.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Mangal Bagh-led LI admitted that there was a heavy bombardment by the air force in Tirah Valley on Wednesday. The spokesman, Salahuddin Ayubi, in a phone call from an undisclosed location to reporters in Peshawar, said several areas were attacked the whole day. However, he maintained that the LI had taken protective measures and none of its fighters was harmed in the air strikes. He also claimed that the LI and its new allies from the TTP and Jamaatul Ahrar had sent their men to Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi and other cities to carry out suicide bombings and other attacks to avenge the ongoing military operations in Khyber Agency and North Waziristan.

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