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Pakistan air strikes kill fighters in North Waziristan

Army claims it has killed 20 fighters in Datta Khel area as part of year-long campaign against Taliban.

Pakistan’s military says air strikes have killed 20 suspected fighters in the northwestern tribal region of North Waziristan near the Afghan border.

In a statement on Saturday, the army said the strikes killed fighters in the Datta Khel area.

The air strikes were part of Operation Zarb-e-Azb that was launched last June against the Pakistan Taliban and other armed groups in the area.

Tens of thousands of soldiers have been involved.

Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder, reporting from Taxila, just outside the capital Islamabad, said the military was “determined” to put the Pakistan Taliban, known as the Tehreek-e-Taliban, on the back foot, but it was a difficult process that had taken nearly a year.

“It is an operation you can not put a timeline on,” he said.

North Waziristan had been considered the headquarters of the Pakistan Taliban until last summer, when the military launched its major offensive there.

The army says it killed more than 1,300 fighters in its campaign so far, and eradicated them from 90 percent of the region.

However, the army’s information cannot be corroborated as journalists have been barred from the country’s tribal areas. (Al Jazeera And AP)

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