KHYBER AGENCY - Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter jets pounded suspected hideouts of militants in the country’s northwest on Friday, killing at least 48 terrorists, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

The airstrikes took place in the remote Tirah valley in Khyber Agency where TTP terrorists and militants from across the mountainous areas have holed up since the start of operation Zarb-e-Azb in the North Waziristan region on the Afghan border. The ISPR said in a statement that 48 suspected militants were killed and several hideouts destroyed in fresh airstrikes.

The airstrikes were carried out a day after Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt visited North Waziristan Agency. On the occasion, General Raheel Sharif appreciated the efficacy of use of air power with ground operations. He said terrorists would be chased and targeted, reaffirming commitment to elimination of all terrorists.

As many as 18 suspected militants were killed and 20 others sustained injuries in the airstrikes carried out by the forces’ jet fighters here in Mehraban Kalley, Koki Khel area of tehsil Jamrud of Khyber Agency, official and local sources said. Tribesmen said the suspected militants were targeted when they were busy in shopping in a fair organised for the facility of dwellers of the areas once in a month.

In another incident, four alleged militants, including two Afghan commanders, were killed in intra-faction fighting of militants that took place at Ranai Parchao, the far-flung and Pak-Afghan bordering area.

The local sources revealed a fierce armed clash broke out among different factions of militants, including Amarat-e-Islam, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and other fighting groups active in Afghanistan.

 They targeted one another’s positions with sophisticated and heavy weapons.