ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistan's army destroyed three suspected al-Qaida
hideouts in an air strike near the Afghan border on Tuesday, killing several
members of the terror group, an army spokesman said.
The military carried out the
operation in South Waziristan tribal region after receiving information that 25
to 30 al-Qaida members were hiding there, said army spokesman Maj. Gen. Shaukat
Pakistani firefighters and volunteers
try to remove the dead body of firefighter from collapsed debris at a
garment factory after a blaze in Karachi, Pakistan, Monday, Jan 15, 2007.
"We believe most of them were killed, but we don't have a body count," he
Sultan said some terror group members at the sites were foreigners, but "no
high-value target was believed to be there."
Sultan said the destroyed al-Qaida hideouts were in an isolated area near the
village of Zaoola, which is close to North Waziristan where the government in
September signed a controversial peace deal with tribal elders to halt military
operations against militants.
In return, local militants and tribal elders at the time promised to not
provide shelter to any foreign militants, nor target Pakistani security forces
and pro-government elders.
However, the government has not signed any such deal in South Waziristan,
where the military has carried out scores of operations against al-Qaida and
their local supporters since the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United
Pakistan, a key ally of the United States in its war on terror, has deployed
about 80,000 troops in its tribal regions, mostly in North and South Waziristan
in an effort to flush out militants.