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Pakistani Says 23 Suspected Militants Killed In Air Strikes

The Pakistani military claims it has killed 23 suspected militants in air strikes on the country's restive tribal regions near the Afghan border.

The June 28 attacks targeted the Khyber and North Waziristan districts as part of what officials described as the final phase of a yearlong offensive against the Taliban.

Both areas have been strongholds of militant groups, including the Pakistani Taliban and its Lashkar-e Islam faction.

The military says more than 2,700 militants have been killed since the offensive began last summer.

The campaign resulted in a remarkable decline in violence, the military said in a statement earlier this month.

Meanwhile, one soldier was killed and three wounded when a checkpoint near the Shawal area of North Waziristan came under rocket attack on June 28, security officials said.

It takes the Pakistani military's official death toll during the offensive to 348.

The figures are impossible to verify independently because the area is off-limits to journalists.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa

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