Pakistan air force kills 23 militants in northwest

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PARACHINAR, Pakistan — Pakistani fighter jets pounded militant hide-outs in the country’s northwestern on Friday, killing 23 suspected insurgents, a government official said.

Local government official Javed Khan said the attacks targeted insurgents in the Orakzai and Kurram tribal regions close to neighboring Afghanistan. The jets also destroyed some anti-aircraft guns positioned on high ground, he said.

Pakistani security forces have carried similar air strikes in both tribal regions since militants moved there after fleeing an army offensive last year in nearby South Waziristan.

Al Qaeda and Taliban militants have bases along the Afghan border, and the Pakistan army has launched several offensives in recent years. The militants still remain active, however.

It was not possible to get independent confirmation of casualties and the identities of those killed in the attacks because the regions are remote and dangerous, and media access is restricted there.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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