Pakistani troops kill 12 in offensive on tribal districts

September 16th, 2008 - 6:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, Sep 16 (DPA) At least 12 people, including two civilians, were killed Tuesday as Pakistani jets and helicopter gunships pounded insurgent positions in the country’s tribal areas along the Afghan border, officials said.Thousands of troops backed by tanks and artillery pushed into the district of Bajaur, particularly in the Rashakai, Loi Sam and Tang Khata strongholds of Taliban militants and al-Qaeda-linked fighters from Central Asia, the military said.

“At least 10 militants and two civilians were killed in the fresh aerial attacks on militant targets and 18 people, including five civilians, were wounded in the strikes, which are to continue through the day,” said a local security official.

Fighting in the Bajaur district broke out in early August when dozens of rebels attacked a checkpoint on a strategic hilltop along a route previously used by militants to cross into Afghanistan and attack international forces.

Hundreds of people have reportedly died and tens of thousands more displaced by the clashes.

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