PESHAWAR/KHYBER AGENCY - Pakistan Air Force jet fighters launched fresh strikes on militant positions in North Waziristan and Khyber agencies killing at least 21 militants on Sunday.

As many as 11 militants were killed in airstrikes on their hideouts in North Waziristan Agency as a part of the ongoing military operation Zarb-e-Azb against local and foreigner militants in the region.

According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), gunships pounded militant positions in Dattakhel locality as a result of which at least 11 militants were killed while their two hideouts were also destroyed completely.

Pakistan army launched a massive operation against local and foreign militants in North Waziristan Agency on June 15 last following a brazen attack on Karachi’s international airport and failure of peace talks between the government and TTP.

So far, the army has cleared main tows of North Waziristan from militants after destroying their hideouts, bomb making factories and training camps in the agency.

Owing to the operation Zarb-e-Azb, over a million tribesmen have fled the offensive in North Waziristan and migrated to downtowns of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Meanwhile, at least 10 militants were killed and scores of them sustained injuries when jet fighters pounded their sanctuaries here in Fateh Ser, Wacho Wana, Rajgal and Dwa Khulay, the far-flung areas of Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency, forces’ sources said on Sunday.

The sources said the air offence was carried out early in the morning that inflicted casualties on the militants, besides demolishing their four hideouts. The killed militants were stated to be volunteers’ of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). However, being the remote area lacking communication channels the claim could not be verified.

In another incident, a tribal youth was shot dead by armed assailants here in Kharkiabd area of tehsil Jamrud on Sunday, official and local sources said.

Malang Jan, the only son of his parents, was killed outside his home, sources said. He was going to tie knot after four days, locals added.

Agencies add: The attacks were launched in the Kuki Khel area of the Khyber tribal district, where the Taliban and another banned group, Lashkar-e-Islam, have taken refuge.

Local government and intelligence officials confirmed the death toll.

Pakistan has been battling militant groups in its semi-autonomous tribal belt since 2004 after its army entered the region to search for Al-Qaeda fighters who had fled across the border following the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

North Waziristan had become a major base for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, which rose up against the state in 2007.

The United States had long called for military action in the tribal areas because militant groups there had targeted Nato forces in Afghanistan.

Army says it has killed more than a thousand militants and lost 86 soldiers since the start of the operation.

The death toll and identity of those killed is impossible to verify because journalists do not have regular access to the conflict zones.