Pakistani Airstrikes Pound Militant Hideouts
by VOA News June 16, 2014
Pakistan's military says fresh air strikes have killed at least 27 militants in the North Waziristan tribal agency, a day after the army announced the start of a comprehensive operation in the region.
An army statement said fighter jets carried out the 'precise strikes' against 'six hardcore terrorist hideouts' Monday. Pakistan said most of those killed were fighters of the fugitive Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan entrenched along the Afghan border.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif laid out his reasons for abandoning peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban and ordering the military offensive during a speech to parliament on Monday.
Sharif said efforts to establish peace through dialogue had not succeeded and the 'terrorists' continued their deadly acts targeting Pakistanis, including women and children. He said Pakistan will not be allowed to become a haven for terrorists and that there was no other option but to launch an operation in North Waziristan.
The prime minister also said relief centers have been established to take care of families affected by the offensive, which has forced thousands of residents to flee their homes. The army says it has not begun an operation in civilian-populated areas.
The Pakistani Taliban on Monday warned foreign firms, including investors, airlines and multinational companies, to leave Pakistan or 'accept the consequences.'
In the Ghulam Khan area of North Waziristan, the army says a roadside bomb killed six soldiers on Monday.
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