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Pakistani airstrikes kill 15 militants near Afghan border

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani warplanes have pounded militant strongholds in a troubled tribal region along the Afghan border, killing at least 15 suspected militants, the army said Friday.

The military said in a statement that the airstrikes were carried out the night before in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan, where Pakistan has been waging a major offensive since last summer.

It said foreigners were among the 15 killed but provided no further details on their nationalities or identities. Reporters are barred from Pakistan’s tribal regions.

North Waziristan is one of seven tribal regions where local and foreign militants have found safe haven for years. They use the hideouts in the mountainous border area to launch attacks in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Also Friday, the paramilitary Frontier Corps said it killed 13 suspected “terrorists” in the Splinji and Johan areas of Baluchistan, a restive southwestern province where separatists and other nationalists have been waging a low-intensity insurgency for years, demanding more autonomy and a greater share of the region’s gas and mineral resources.

Frontier Corps spokesman Abdul Wasay said the troops came under fire during a search operation launched Thursday. He said the operation has led to the destruction of two militant hideouts, three explosives-filled cars and four motorcycles.

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