21 Militants killed in North Waziristan

PESHAWAR: At least 21 militants have been killed in airstrikes and a gunfight in restive northwestern tribal areas, officials said Sunday.
The air attacks were carried out on five insurgent hideouts in the Shawal area of North Waziristan overnight, a military statement said.
“In precise aerial strikes last night [five] terrorists hideouts were destroyed and 15 terrorists including foreigners were killed in Shawal area of North Waziristan Agency,” it said.
Separately, at least six militants were killed early Sunday in a gunfight that erupted after they attacked a paramilitary checkpoint in a tribal area bordering Afghanistan, officials said.
The gunfight took place at the Ghundi checkpoint in the Khyber tribal district which is a gateway for NATO supplies to Afghanistan.
“A group of about 30 militants attacked the Ghundi checkpost early Sunday, but security forces had prior information about it and were well prepared,” a senior security official told on condition of anonymity.
“At least six militants were killed in the gunfight and the attacking militants were forced to flee,” the official said, adding there no casualties among security forces.
Military operation Zarb-i-Azb was launched by the Pakistan Army on June 15 following a brazen militant attack on Karachi’s international airport and failure of peace talks between the government and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) negotiators.
The Taliban and their ethnic Uzbek allies both claimed responsibility for the attack on Karachi airport, which was seen as a strategic turning point in how Pakistan tackles the insurgency.
Nearly a million people have fled the offensive in North Waziristan, which is aimed at wiping out longstanding militant strongholds in the area, which borders Afghanistan.
North Waziristan has been isolated by deploying troops along its border with neighbouring agencies and Federally Administrative Tribal Areas (Fata) regions to block any move of terrorists in and out of the Agency.
More than 1,000 militants and 86 soldiers have been killed in the assault so far, according to the military.