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Pakistan airstrikes kill 22 militants in North Waziristan

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The file photo shows a formation of three Pakistan Air Force F-16 fighter jets in flight.

Pakistani fighter jets have pounded militant positions in the country’s volatile northwest frontier bordering Afghanistan, killing at least 22 militants.

A Pakistani security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Saturday that the airstrikes targeted Taliban’s positions at separate locations in North Waziristan's Shawal area.

Six militant hideouts and an unknown number of their vehicles were destroyed in the airstrikes, the official said.

A second Pakistani security official confirmed the airstrikes and the death toll.

However, the exact number of casualties could not be independently verified since journalists are banned from travelling to the remote mountainous area.

Pakistan has been waging a major offensive against militant hideouts across the troubled northwestern tribal regions since June last year, when a deadly raid on the Karachi International Airport ended the government’s faltering peace talks with the militants.

Pro-Taliban militants in an area in Pakistan's South Waziristan region (file photo)

Pakistan’s army intensified its military operations after pro-Taliban elements killed over 150 people, most of them children, in an armed assault on a school in Peshawar in December 2014.

Pakistan’s military says more than 3,600 militants have been killed since the launch of the operation. Nearly 360 Pakistani have also been killed.

Thousands of Pakistanis have lost their lives in bombings and other militant attacks since 2001, when Pakistan entered an alliance with the US in the so-called war on terror. Thousands more have been displaced by the wave of violence and militancy sweeping across the country.

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