PESHAWAR, Pakistan- Pakistan carried out early morning air strikes Tuesday on a militant-infested tribal district, killing at least 15 people, the military said, a day after a brazen Taliban assault on Karachi airport.
A military statement said “nine terrorist hideouts were destroyed” in the raids, which came after the Taliban stormed Pakistan’s biggest airport, killing at least 30 people in an all-night battle on Monday.
The death toll from Tuesday’s strikes, in the restive Tirah Valley area of Khyber tribal district, could not be independently verified.
Pressure has built on the military to act after Monday’s attack by at least 10 militants, which left a nascent peace process in tatters and raised questions about how they were able to penetrate the airport in Pakistan’s economic hub.
The air strikes are the latest in a succession of such attacks carried out by the Pakistani military in the tribal belt this year after talks with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) broke down.
The last were carried out in North Waziristan in late May, killing at least 75 people and causing some 58,000 people to flee from the district in fear of a fuller ground offensive that has been anticipated for years.
The Khyber district itself was targeted previously in April in aerial bombing that killed 37 people.
The district is believed to be home to several militant factions, most notably Lashkar-e-Islam, led by warlord Mangal Bagh, as well foreign fighters from Central Asia.
Pakistan began talks with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in February, with a ceasefire agreed in March but breaking down a month later.