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Pakistan helicopters pound rebels as 150,000 civilians flee

Published on Jun 20, 2014 4:25 PM
 
Children fleeing the military offensive against Pakistani militants in North Waziristan this week with their family members entering Bannu, in Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. Authorities had eased a shoot-on-sight curfew to give civilians a chance to leave before troops begin a full-blooded ground operation. PHOTO: REUTERS

BANNU (Pakistan) (AFP) - Pakistani helicopter gunships pounded militant targets in the country's north-west on Friday, killing up to 20 rebels, as the number of civilians fleeing an expected ground offensive passed 150,000.

Nearly 100,000 people have left North Waziristan tribal area, on the Afghan border, this week after the military launched a long-awaited assault against Taleban hideouts.

The authorities eased a shoot-on-sight curfew on Wednesday to give civilians a chance to leave before troops begin a full-blooded ground operation.

A senior security official told AFP that helicopter gunships targeted militant hideouts in an early morning raid in the Kutabkhel area of Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan, killing up to 20 militants.

 
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