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Pakistan Begins Ground Offensive Against Militants

Pakistan has launched a ground assault against Taliban strongholds in the North Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border.

The Pakistani Army said on June 30 that it has begun a house-to-house search in Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan.

A statement from the military's communications wing said the assault began after the evacuation of nearly half-a-million residents from the region.

The military said 15 militants had been killed in the initial ground advance.

The ground operation follows two weeks of air strikes and artillery bombardment of insurgent targets.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called the offensive the "beginning of an era of peace and tranquility," but the Taliban has vowed to strike back.

The military says nearly 380 militants and 17 security personnel have been killed since the offensive against the militants in North Waziristan was launched on June 15.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters

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