Pakistani fighter jets bombed suspected militant hide-outs on Monday in a tribal region where the military had previously declared victory over the Taliban, killing 13 alleged extremists a day after the end of a deadly siege of the Army’s headquarters.
Monday’s airstrikes were in Bajur, a separate segment of the lawless north-western tribal belt where Pakistan waged an intense six-month offensive that wound down in February. Resurgent violence in Bajur could distract the military as it tries to focus on South Waziristan.
“This was a heavy spell of bombing,” said local government official Tahir Khan, who put the death toll at 13. Nine other alleged militants were wounded, he said.
Also in Bajur on Monday, a remote-controlled bomb went off in front of the political administration office in the main city of Khar, wounding a passer-by. In addition, militants were suspected of abducting 10 tribal elders after they attended a meeting aimed at forming a citizens’ militia to protect against the Taliban, said Faramosh Khan, another local official.