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Page last updated at 07:17 GMT, Monday, 15 March 2010

Air strike in Pakistan 'kills nine militants'

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Pakistani fighter jets have targeted suspected Taliban hideouts in the north-western Orakzai tribal area, killing at least nine people.

Officials say the hideouts in the Ferozkhel area were being used by militants led by Taliban commander Hakimullah Meshud.

Unconfirmed reports earlier this year said he had been hit in a drone strike - his current whereabouts are unknown.

Last year, Pakistan launched an anti-Taliban offensive in South Waziristan.

The army believes many insurgents have fled from there to areas such as Orakzai.

A number of air strikes have targeted militant positions in Orakzai in recent months.

The hideouts destroyed in Sunday's attack were being used by foreign fighters but it is not clear whether they were among the dead, officials say.

Reports say thousands of civilians have left their homes in Orakzai.



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