Officials: Almost 100 killed in air raids in Pakistan

Sunday, April 11, 2010

According to officials, almost a hundred people suspected to be insurgents were killed in northwestern Pakistan early on Saturday by air strikes conducted by the military.

The strikes were made in tribal areas in the Orazkai and Khyber regions, located close to the Afghan border.

The reports say that in Orakzai, 54 people alleged to have been rebels were killed during an ongoing conflict at a checkpoint near the town of Baizoti. A further 42, suspected of being insurgents, were killed after military aircraft bombed a location believed to be a gathering place for members of the Lashkar-e-Islam rebel group, according to a local official speaking to the Associated Press.

"At least 42 militants of Lashkar-e-Islam were killed and two militant hideouts were also destroyed. The death toll may rise as dozens of others were also injured in the airstrike," commented Khyber administration chief Shafeerullah Wazir.

An unnamed official for the military also confirmed the air raids occurred, saying to the Agence France-Presse news agency that "[t]he air strike was launched on a tip-off that a meeting of the Lashkar-e-Islam group was going on in Tirah."