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Pakistan PM vows to crush militants after school massacre

18 December 2014, 11:10

Peshawar - Pakistani forces have intensified their offensive against Islamist militants, killing 57 rebels in fresh airstrikes and moving ground troops deep into their strongholds, the military said on Thursday.

Fighter jets bombed 20 militant hideouts in Khyber tribal district, which borders Peshawar city, where Taliban fighters on Tuesday massacred 148 people, including 135 students at an army-run school, a military statement said.

Ground troops also moved deeper into Tirah valley, a mountainous stretch near the Afghan border where various militant groups linked with al-Qaeda have long established sanctuaries, the statement said.

Also Read: Pakistan intensifies attacks after school massacre

Separately, paramilitary Rangers killed five suspected Taliban militants in a raid in the southern port city of Karachi, a spokesperson for the force said.

In Peshawar, life slowly returned to normal after being largely shut down on Wednesday to mourn the victims of the deadliest attack in Pakistan during more than a decade of violence.

In the capital Islamabad, political and military leaders opened deliberations to discuss what officials called a new plan of action to fight militancy.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed on Wednesday to crush militants with the full force of the state and immediately ended a six-year moratorium on executions for those convicted of terrorism.

Thousands of Pakistanis took to the streets in all major cities to condemn the attack and to push the government for decisive action against militants.



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