February 10, 2012 / 6:52 AM / 8 years ago

Military kills 11 militants in NW Pakistan: officials

PARACHINAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistani forces killed 11 militants and wounded 19 in the northwest on Friday, security officials said, in a crackdown in the Kurram tribal region near the border with Afghanistan.

The military fired artillery shells at three suspected hideouts in the Mamozai area of Kurram, where dozens of people have been killed in fierce fighting between Pakistani soldiers and insurgents in the last few weeks.

The death toll could not be independently verified and militants often dispute official accounts.

The Pakistani Taliban, allied with al Qaeda, and the Afghan Taliban movement fighting Western forces in Afghanistan, are entrenched in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal areas.

A series of military offensives have failed to break the group. But there has been a lull in major Taliban suicide bombings in recent months.

Pakistan’s military has been conducting operations against militants in Kurram since the beginning of the year.

Kurram’s harsh terrain limits the movement of ground forces, and gunship helicopters and bombers are often called in for support.

Writing by Qasim Nauman; Editing by Michael Georgy

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