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Mortar hits Pakistan mosque killing 3 tribesmen

 Pakistani paramilitary soldiers observe area from a rooftop of a checkpoint at Abbato Karaz village near Chaman, a town in Pakistan, southwest along ...
 Supporters of Pakistan's largest Islamic party, Jamat-e-Islami march during a protest rally against the US and military operation against the Taliban...

Pakistan

Pakistani paramilitary soldiers observe area from a rooftop of a checkpoint at Abbato Karaz village near Chaman, a town in Pakistan, southwest along ...

APTOPIX Pakistan

Supporters of Pakistan's largest Islamic party, Jamat-e-Islami march during a protest rally against the US and military operation against the Taliban...

Pakistani fighter jets bombed suspected Taliban hideouts in the volatile northwest on Monday, killing four militants, intelligence officials said, while a stray mortar crashed into a mosque during prayers and killed three tribesmen.
The violence happened in South Waziristan, where government forces are readying an offensive against Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud. On Sunday, a militant ambush claimed by Mehsud killed a dozen soldiers in a neighboring region.
The air strikes Monday hit a guest house being used by militants in the village of Kani Guram, three intelligence officials said.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information. It was not possible to independently confirm the casualty counts or the identities of those reported killed as journalists have little access to the remote, dangerous region.
Late Sunday, a stray mortar shell hit a mosque during prayers in Azam Warsak in South Waziristan, killing three tribesmen and wounding seven, intelligence officials and a witness said.
"The mosque was destroyed and we could hardly bring out the dead and injured," said a man who gave his name as Wazir. He escaped the shelling unharmed.
It was not immediately clear who fired the mortar, but intelligence officials said it appeared to be aimed by at a nearby military outpost, presumably by militants.
Pakistan says it is preparing for a major offensive aimed at eliminating Mehsud and his militant network in South Waziristan, which lies in the mountainous tribal belt along Pakistan's long border with Afghanistan where the government wields little control.
Mehsud's group has been blamed for a string of deadly suicide bombings across the country that have killed more than 100 people in the past month.
On Sunday, the government announced a 50 million rupee ($615,000) reward for information leading to Mehsud's capture or death. Smaller amounts were offered for information on his top lieutenants.
The government's military campaign is strongly supported by Washington. It is seen as a test of Pakistan's determination to confront an insurgency that has grown after earlier military operations failed to finish the job and peace deals with the Taliban collapsed.
It comes as the military winds up a two-month-old offensive to oust Taliban militants from the Swat Valley region, also in the northwest.
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Associated Press writer Ishtiaq Mahsud contributed to this report from Dera Ismail Khan.


Updated : 2021-06-25 20:11 GMT+08:00