Military jets bombed Taliban positions in the country’s troubled tribal region along the Afghan border on Sunday, killing 22 rebels and wounding several more, security officials claimed.
The aerial assault took place in three villages of Orakzai district where the government forces have been carrying out a major operation against Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters since mid-October.
“Our fighter jets engaged various hideouts of the militants and completely destroyed two of these,” said a senior official with the paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) force that is spearheading the assault in the mountainous tribal region.
“Twenty-two militants died and several were injured,” added the official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Pakistani military reports that more than 1,000 Taliban and al-Qaeda insurgents have been killed in the campaign so far. But these claims are difficult to verify independently since the conflict zone remains almost inaccessible for the journalists and aid workers.
The airstrikes come three days after two suicide bombings turned a busy market into ruins in the neighbouring tribal district of Mohmand.
The death toll in the bombings that occurred on Friday in Yakaghund village rose to 107 on Sunday as more victims succumbed to their injuries at the hospital, security and health officials said.
“The rescuers are still sifting through the rubble,” said Rasool Khan, adding that the target of the attack was the leaders of an anti-Taliban militia.