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May 2, 11:47 AM EDT

Pakistan military says strikes kill 44 suspected militants


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ISLAMABAD (AP) -- Pakistan's military says airstrikes have killed 44 suspected militants in the tribal region near the Afghan border.

A statement Saturday said 28 suspected militants were killed when jets struck hideouts in the Tirah Valley of the Khyber tribal region. It said separate strikes in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan killed 16 suspected militants, most of them foreigners.

The statement gave no other details. The information could not be corroborated as journalists are barred from working in tribal areas. Activists and locals have said previous strikes killed civilians.

Pakistan's military is in the middle of an operation to clear the tribal regions of militants. The offensive took on a new urgency in December, when Taliban militants attacked an army-run school in Peshawar, killing 150 people, mostly children.

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