Pakistani jets and ground forces have killed at least 77 militants in a north-western tribal region near the Afghan border, days after Taliban fighters killed 148 people in a school massacre.
Meanwhile, a Pakistani prosecutor said the government will try to cancel the bail granted to the main suspect in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks – a decision that outraged neighbouring India and called into question Pakistan’s commitment to fighting militancy.
The violence at a school in Pakistan’s north-west earlier this week stunned the country and brought cries for retribution.
In the wake of the mass killing the military has struck targets in the Khyber tribal region and approved the death penalty for six convicted terrorists.
The military said its ground forces killed 10 militants on Thursday night while air strikes killed another 17, including an Uzbek commander.
Another 32 alleged terrorists were killed by security forces in an ambush in Tirah valley in Khyber yesterday as they headed towards the Afghan border, the military said. Yesterday morning, troops killed 18 more militants during a “cordon and search operation” in the Khyber region, the military said.
The military said the army chief, General Raheel Sharif, was travelling to Khyber to meet troops taking part in the ground operation.
Khyber is one of two main areas in the north-west where the military has been trying to root out militants in recent months.It borders Peshawar, where the school massacre happened, and militants have traditionally attacked the city before withdrawing to the tribal region, where police cannot chase them.
The other area is North Waziristan, where the military launched a massive operation in June. In the southern province of Baluchistan, Pakistani security forces killed a senior Pakistani Taliban leader along with seven of his associates in three separate pre-dawn raids.