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AKIPRESS.COM - Pakistani fighter jets have launched air strikes against militant hideouts in the country's troubled north-west, killing more than 50 insurgents, The Sydney Morning Herald reported referring to the Ministry of Defense.
However, local security officials put the death toll far higher, saying about 150 militants died in the air strikes, which primarily targeted Uzbek fighters in a remote area of North Waziristan.
Among the dead are insurgents linked to last Monday's all-night siege of Karachi Airport that killed 38 people, including 10 attackers, and all but destroyed a tentative peace process between the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) and the Government.
The mountainous Dehgan area, about 25 kilometers west of the main town of Miranshah in North Waziristan, is a stronghold for Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked militants on the border with Afghanistan.
Pressure has been mounting on the Pakistani Government to launch a ground offensive in the Taliban-controlled North Waziristan district.
Following the assault in Karachi, the U.S. carried out two drone strikes in North Waziristan on Wednesday, the first time the controversial program has been used this year.
The same day, Pakistani air force jets pounded suspected militant hideouts, leaving at least 25 dead.
There were competing reports about the identity of those killed. But a second intelligence official in Miranshah said Uzbek fighters were targeted.
Both the Pakistani Taliban and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan said Uzbek fighters took part in the Karachi Airport assault.