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Pakistan Army Airstrikes Kill 31 Militants

  • VOA News

North and South Waziristan, Khyber, Pakistan

North and South Waziristan, Khyber, Pakistan

Pakistan’s military says its fighter planes bombed and destroyed several “terrorist hideouts” near the Afghan border Saturday, killing at least 31 militants.

The military’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said the “precise aerial strikes” in Tirrah valley of the Khyber tribal district also destroyed “a suicide bomber training center.” It says that “some suicide bombers” were among those killed.

Pakistan has stepped counter-militancy army operations in tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan since a militant raid against an army-run school in Peshawar on December 16 killed 150 people, almost all of them children.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for that massacre.

On Saturday, a new bill was introduced in the national parliament to seek the creation of military-run courts to try suspects involved in terrorist attacks. Lawmakers are scheduled to discuss the proposed legislation on Monday and it is expected to be approved the same day. The bill says the courts will be set up for a period of two years.

Before tabling the bill in the parliament, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government got it unanimously approved by all the parliamentary parties and the military leadership at a special meeting Friday in Islamabad. Mr. Sharif has dismissed criticism of the courts, saying Pakistan faces an existential threat from extremist and terrorist forces, and "extraordinary" measures are required to meet the challenge.

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