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Pakistan airstrikes, gun battle kill 55 militants

Pakistani soldiers patrol a town during a military operation against Taliban militants in North Waziristan, on July 9, 2014At least 55 militants were killed in airstrikes and a gun battle with ground forces in Pakistan’s troubled northwest where the military launched a major offensive this year, officials said Saturday. The army intensified its offensive after the massacre of 150 people in a school in Peshawar this month, a carnage which Pakistan described as its own “mini 9/11” and a game-changer in the fight against extremism. Separately, 39 militants, including two rebel commanders, were killed in airstrikes in the northwest late Friday and an ammunition depot was also destroyed, according to military spokesman Major General Asim Bajwa. The army has been waging a major offensive against longstanding Taliban and other militant strongholds in the restive tribal areas on the Afghan border for the last six months.

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