DHAKA: At least 37 people have been reported killed and 18 injured in air raids, in the Khyber tribal area of Pakistan on Thursday.
Meanwhile, a bomb blast in the country’s south claimed the life of a police officer and three others.
The military said the raids on Thursday targeted members of armed groups involved in planning recent attacks, including the bombing of a fruit market in Islamabad on April 9 and the killing of security forces in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
The raids were launched in the Bara area early on Thursday morning, military officials told media. They come a day after the government and the Pakistani Taliban met in Islamabad to discuss a stuttering peace process.
The Pakistani Taliban, known by the initials TTP, announced on April 16 that it would not be extending a self-imposed 40-day ceasefire on attacks against the state and civilians, a move which prompted the interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, to say further talks without such a measure in place would be ‘pointless’.
A senior military official in Peshawar told news agency that the air raids were the first phase of an offensive against rebels in the Khyber area.
"After the jets, Pakistan army ground forces also launched operations in the area," he said.
The assault was the first aerial operation against TTP targets for two months.
BDST: 0512 HRS, APR 25, 2014
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