Jan 27, 11:16 AM EST

Pakistani military says its airstrikes killed 53 militants

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ISLAMABAD (AP) -- Pakistan's military says its air force killed 53 militants in a tribal region near the Afghan border.

A military statement says Tuesday's airstrikes targeted militants in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan, which has long been a safe haven for local and foreign extremists carrying out attacks on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

It says some foreigners were among those killed. Six militant hideouts, an ammunition dump and seven explosives-laden vehicles were also destroyed.

The army launched a major offensive in North Waziristan last June and has claimed to have killed over 2,000 militants so far. It also says it lost nearly 200 soldiers in the operation.

Media are barred from the region, making it impossible to independently verify information on military activity there.

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