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Pakistan helicopters pound rebel hideouts, killing 30

BANNU, Pakistan--Pakistani helicopter gunships pounded militant targets in the country's northwest Saturday, killing up to 30 rebels, as the number of civilians fleeing an expected ground offensive passed 200,000.

The military said 30 insurgents were killed in targeted air strikes early Saturday in Khyber and North Waziristan Agencies, semi-autonomous tribal regions on the Afghan border which are an important base for the Pakistani Taliban.

“According to details at 0200 hours jet aircrafts destroyed two hideouts close to Pak-Afghan border in Khyber killing 10 terrorists,” it said in a statement.

“At 0500 hours three hideouts were destroyed in Hassu Khel in North Waziristan Agency killing 20 terrorists,” it added.

Nearly 280 insurgents have been killed since the start of the operation on Sunday, according to security officials, though it is not possible to confirm the number or identity of those killed.

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