The airstrikes were carried out in the far-flung Shawal valley that sits on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. This region has become one of new battlegrounds between Pakistan army and Taliban militants, a statement issued by Pakistan Army’s media wing, the Inter Services Public Relations said.
“23 terrorists were killed and four terrorist hideouts destroyed through effective and precise aerial strikes in Shawal, North Waziristan Agency this evening (Wednesday)”, the statement said.
North Waziristan is one of the seven semi-autonomous tribal regions in Pakistan that touches neighboring Afghanistan, and has been a battleground between security forces and militants since 2002.
Pakistan army is also engaged in operations in the adjoining Khyber Agency to eradicate the Taliban backed Lashkar-e-Islam group. Intelligence agencies believe the militants fleeing from North Waziristan have established bases in Khyber Agency.
The army claims around 2,000 militants have been killed since June 15 in North Waziristan, Khyber Agency and other tribal areas. The figures, however, cannot be confirmed due to the absence of independent media in the region.
Some 199 troops have also been killed in landmine blasts and clashes with Taliban during this period.
The ongoing operations have caused a wholesale migration, mainly from North Waziristan and Khyber Agency, as over 1.5 million people have taken refuge in Bannu, Peshawar, Lakki Marwat, Karak and other districts.