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Pakistan attacks militant hideouts

  • Story Highlights
  • Official calls strikes part of a strategy to "soften up targets" before ground offensive
  • Military hit South Waziristan village Wednesday; militant commander's father killed
  • Pakistan's military blames Taliban for Saturday attack on army's HQ in Rawalpindi

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistani jet fighters and attack helicopters fired on militant hideouts in South Waziristan, killing more than 20 militants, a senior military official told CNN.

The Thursday strikes targeted hideouts in and around the villages of Ladha, Makeen, Nawaz Kot and Sararogha, said the official, who asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

The official called the strikes, which have been launched daily since Tuesday, part of a strategy to "soften up targets" in South Waziristan before an upcoming ground offensive. A date for the offensive has not been made public.

The official told CNN that Thursday's airstrikes were more extensive than those of previous days because there was a clear sky.

The strike came on the same day militants launched a string of strikes that killed at least 30 Pakistani police officers and civilians, authorities said. At least 10 militants were killed in the attacks. Video Watch a rundown of the day's attacks »

Pakistan's military blamed the Taliban in South Waziristan for a militant attack Saturday on the army's headquarters in Rawalpindi. Five militants held dozens of hostages inside the headquarters for some 22 hours. Eleven military personnel, three civilians and nine militants were killed in the siege.

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On Wednesday the Pakistani military bombed the village of Gorgoray in South Waziristan, killing at least eight people, said military officials and a local Taliban leader.

Among those killed was the father of militant commander Nur Wali, said Ahmed Ullah, a Taliban leader in Razmak, North Waziristan. All the victims were civilians, he added.

CNN's Reza Sayah and journalist Nasir Dawar contributed to this report.

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