Air strikes on 'terrorist hideouts' kill 15 in north-west Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AFP) - At least 15 people were killed as Pakistan carried out early morning air strikes Tuesday on a militant-infested tribal district, the military said, a day after a brazen Taleban assault on Karachi airport.

A military statement said "nine terrorist hideouts were destroyed" in the raids, which came after the Taleban 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 the attack by at least 10 militants in Karachi, 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 strikes were carried out in North Waziristan in late May, killing at least 75 people and stoking the migration of some 58,000 people away from the district in fear of a fuller ground-offensive that has been anticipated for years.

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