PARACHINAR, Pakistan — Pakistani airstrikes killed nearly 100 suspected militants in two northwest tribal regions Saturday, an apparent intensification of efforts by the army to mop up Taliban fighters fleeing a military operation farther south.

The strikes were carried out in the Orakzai and Khyber tribal regions.

In Orakzai, some 54 alleged militants were killed during ongoing clashes over a checkpoint in the Baizoti town area, local official Samiullah Khan said in an interview.

Another 42 people, most of them suspected insurgents, died in the Khyber tribal region when military jets pounded a hideout the in Sra Walla area. The location was believed to be a gathering point for the Lashker-e-Islam insurgent group.

Two intelligence officials said jets pounded the area twice — once when local tribesmen were retrieving bodies from the rubble. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media on the record.

Local official Rehan Khattak confirmed the strikes but refused to give a death toll.

The information could not be independently verified because access to the tribal areas is largely restricted.

The U.S. has endorsed Pakistan’s efforts to eliminate militants who are using its tribal areas to wage attacks against Islamabad as well as Western troops across the border in Afghanistan.


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