Pakistani jets again strike Taliban targets


Soldiers march at army HQ in Rawalpindi Tuesday, three days after militants took dozens of hostages in a siege.
Pakistani fighter jets bombed a village in South Waziristan on Wednesday, killing at least eight people, said military officials and a local Taliban leader.

Among those killed in Gorgoray was the father of militant commander Nur Wali, said Ahmed Ullah, a Taliban leader in Razmak, North Waziristan. Ullah said all the victims were civilians. Pakistani air strikes have targeted South Waziristan for the last month. Wednesday was the second straight day of strikes against Taliban militant hideouts in the lawless tribal region. Watch as attacks spark security fears The villages in South Waziristan are strongholds of the late Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in August, the official said. The Pakistani Taliban are now led by Hakimullah Mehsud.

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Pakistan’s military blamed the Taliban in South Waziristan for Saturday’s militant attack on the army’s headquarters in Rawalpindi. Five militants held dozens of hostages inside the army headquarters for some 22 hours. Eleven military personnel, three civilians and nine militants were killed in the siege.

Last week, military spokesman Gen. Athar Abbas told CNN the air strikes are part of a strategy to destroy militant hideouts before a major ground offensive. Government and military officials have not announced a date for the operation. Fearing the impending ground offensive in South Waziristan, civilians have fled en masse from South Waziristan to the adjacent districts of Tank and Dera Ismail Khan, the senior military official said.

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