Pakistan Steps up Campaign Against Taliban Fighters

Aerial strikes in Tirah Valley reported as country steps up attacks on suspected Pakistani Taliban stronghold Reports say 21 fighters have been killed in aerial strikes in the Tirah Valley in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Agency. The country’s leaders pledged decisive action in the wake of Tuesday’s school massacre in Peshawar, capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which left 149 people dead, most of them children. The massacre, claimed by the Pakistani Taliban, triggered international condemnation and led to calls in Pakistan for action against armed groups. Intelligence sources have told Al Jazeera that the mastermind of the school attack may himself have been killed in an air strike, although this claim has not been independently verified. Omar Khalifa had claimed responsibility for the attacks in a video released online. Saturday’s bombardment comes a day after Pakistan hanged two convicted men in the first executions since 2008 after the government ended a moratorium...

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