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Pakistan Army Strikes Kill 48 Suspected Militants

North and South Waziristan, part of the Federally Administered Trial Area (FATA)

Pakistan military says it has carried out fresh airstrikes near the Afghan border, killing at least 48 suspected terrorists and eliminating around a dozen of their hideouts.

Army officials say Tuesday's action by fighter planes and Cobra helicopters focused on Khyber and North Waziristan tribal agencies where Pakistani Taliban and fugitive Afghan insurgents are entrenched.

The majority of the militant casualties are said to have occurred in the Waziristan area.

Officials also reported that at least six civilians, including three female teachers and two children, were killed in a roadside bomb blast that struck a school van Tuesday in the Bajaur tribal agency, bordering Afghanistan.

North and South Waziristan, Khyber, Pakistan
North and South Waziristan, Khyber, Pakistan

Pakistani troops are engaged in a massive counter-insurgency operation in North Waziristan, described by some as one of the biggest militant sanctuaries in the region.

Authorities claim the offensive launched in June has killed more than 600 militants while the army also has lost around 40 soldiers.

Almost all of Pakistan's seven tribal agencies, known as Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), are located on the Afghan border and notorious for sheltering local as well as foreign militants, including those operating against U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan.