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Pakistani Airstrike Kills 45 in Tribal Northwest


Pakistani fighter jets have bombed a militant position in the restive northwest tribal belt along the Afghan border, killing at least 45 people.

Pakistani officials and militants confirmed the strike Saturday, which took place in the valley of Tirah in the Kyber tribal district.

Kyber is the main supply route for NATO troops through Pakistan into Afghanistan. Militants are blamed for launching frequent attacks on NATO convoys traveling through the region.

Pakistan's military has recently stepped up offensives in Khyber and neighboring Orakzai. Officials say more than 300 militants have been killed so far in the fighting.

Separately, Pakistan's Interior Minister said a girl left outside a house in Karachi earlier this week has been identified as the daughter of a U.S.-educated Pakistani scientist convicted of trying to kill Americans.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said DNA tests confirmed the identity of 12-year-old Fatima Siddiqui. Her mother, Aafia Siddiqui, was found guilty in February of shooting at U.S. personnel in Afghanistan in 2008 as she was about to be questioned by interrogators.

Aafia Siddiqui and her three children disappeared in 2003 before Aafia resurfaced five years later in Afghanistan. One of her sons was with her. The whereabouts of her other son is still unknown.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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