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Central & South Asia

Pakistan says 'terrorist hideouts destroyed'

Military says 15 killed in air raids targeting Khyber belt's Tirah Valley, as airport attack death toll rises.

Last updated: 10 Jun 2014 08:36
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The Pakistani Taliban said North Waziristan strikes were a motive for the Karachi airport attack [AFP]

Pakistan has carried out air raids in the Tirah Valley area of the northwestern Khyber tribal district, killing at least 15 people, according to a statement by the military.

The statement, released early on Tuesday, said "nine terrorist hideouts were destroyed" in the raids, which came a day after an armed assault at Karachi's international airport killed at least 36 people.

Fighters from Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) disguised as police guards stormed the country's busiest airport on Monday, setting off explosions. 

A TTP spokesman said the attack was in retaliation for the treatment of Taliban prisoners, air raids in North Waziristan and for the drone-strike death last year of Hakimullah Mehsud, a top Taliban commander.

Burned alive

On Tuesday, it emerged that rescue workers at the airport retrieved the bodies of seven people who had been trapped in a cold storage facility, pushing up the death toll.

The victims had sought refuge in the facility during the attack, but the room caught fire and the seven were burned alive.

Dr Seemi Jamali from Karachi's Jinnah Hospital said the charred remains were brought to hospital on Tuesday morning. 

The head of the Karachi Municipal Corporation, Rauf Akhtar Farooqi, said the bodies were burned beyond recognition, the Associated Press news agency reported.

The US offered "assistance to the relevant Pakistani authorities investigating this crime", US State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said on Monday.

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