MIRANSHAH- Pakistani fighter jets pounded suspected Taliban hideouts in the tribal North Waziristan region today in response to an audacious attack on the country's busiest airport a week ago, regional intelligence sources said.

Nearly 80 militants, mainly ethnic Uzbek fighters, have been killed in the latest air assault in the region bordering Afghanistan where some of Pakistan's most feared militants and al Qaeda commanders are based, sources said.

"Fighter jets targeted militant hideouts in the village of Dagan near the Pakistani-Afghan border," said one source in the regional capital of Miranshah.

"An important Uzbek commander, Abdul Rehman, has been killed in the air strike," he said, adding that Rehman was directly involved in masterminding the Karachi airport attack.

The account could not be independently verified as journalist movements are restricted in the region. The Taliban did not immediately comment on the air strikes.