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Pakistani military airstrikes targeting militants kill 15

By Jethro Mullen and Sophia Saifi, CNN
updated 7:33 AM EST, Thu February 20, 2014
North Waziristan is one of seven districts in Pakistan's tribal region along the Afghan border.
North Waziristan is one of seven districts in Pakistan's tribal region along the Afghan border.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The strikes target an area near the Afghan border known as a Pakistani Taliban stronghold
  • The Pakistani government suspended peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban this week

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- The Pakistani Army carried out airstrikes late Wednesday that targeted militant hideouts in the country's volatile northwest, killing 15 people, the military said.

"Foreign fighters" were among those killed in the strikes in North Waziristan Agency, according to a statement Thursday from the military.

North Waziristan is a Pakistani Taliban stronghold in Pakistan's loosely governed tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. The area is dangerous and hard for journalists to reach, making it difficult to independently verify the military's account.

Pakistanis view of talks with Taliban

Mir Ali, where the strikes took place, is one of the biggest towns in North Waziristan. Attempts to reach people living in the area were not immediately successful Thursday.

The strikes destroyed a large cache of arms and ammunition, the military said.

The Pakistani government said this week that it had suspended peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban. The talks lasted for about 13 days, but the militant group carried out several deadly attacks during that time, the government said.

READ: Pakistan suspends peace talks with Pakistani Taliban

READ: Pervez Musharraf appears in Pakistan court to face treason charges

CNN's Sophia Saifi reported from Islamabad; Jethro Mullen wrote from Hong Kong

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