Pakistan’s military says it has killed 57 militants in ground assaults and air strikes on Taliban units in areas near the border with Afghanistan.

The operations come days after the Taliban killed 141 people at a school in Peshawar, mostly children.

The military has stepped up its offensive against the insurgents in the provinces of the Khyber agency and North Waziristan.

Assaults on militants in North Waziristan began in June.

This week’s operations were a combination of ground assaults and 20 air strikes by Pakistani jets.

An ambush on Thursday night by special forces in the Tirah Valley, an area near the Afghan border, killed 32 militants.

Airport

The army says it has killed more than 1,700 militants since the its current offensive started in June.

However, restricted access to many of the conflict zones means that the numbers are difficult to independently verify.

The June offensive started in response to a Taliban attack on the country’s busiest airport in Karachi left at least 38 dead, including the attackers.

Efforts to stamp out insurgent networks have focused on the North Waziristan agency on the border with Afghanistan.

The province is a stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) as well as the Haqqani Network – a Pakistan-based militant group with links to both the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

The city of Peshawar, close to the Afghan border, has seen some of the worst of the violence during the Taliban insurgency in recent years, culminating in Tuesday’s attack on the army-run school.

Tuesday’s attack that killed 132 children at the Public Army School was the Pakistan Taliban’s deadliest to date

Remembrance vigils were held around the world, such as this prayer meeting in Mumbai, India

The massacre at the Public Army School prompted outrage around the world.

The Taliban said that the attack was an act of revenge for its own losses in the army’s military offensive.

Political violence

The BBC tracked fatal global jihadist attacks across the month of November 2014 and a total of 13 were carried out in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where Peshawar is located.

Of all the 35 attacks in Pakistan in November, 32 were carried out by the TTP or Taliban. It killed 143 people.

It is estimated that as many as 50,000 Pakistanis have been killed in political violence since 2001.

Members of the security forces, including both the army and the police, account for around 10,000 of those deaths.

via BBC News – Pakistan Taliban: Army kills ’57 militants’.

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