PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- After two days of deadly attacks against security forces, Pakistani air force jets bombarded suspected insurgent hideouts in the country's tribal belt early Tuesday, killing at least 20 people, officials said.
Residents reached by telephone said the airstrikes began around midnight and continued for over an hour in North Waziristan, a lawless zone in the tribal belt that is believed to be a haven for Pakistani
Pakistani security officials claimed that multiple hideouts were struck and that 20 militants were killed. Residents said the death toll was 25. The Times could not verify the accounts independently or determine whether the dead were militants or civilians.
Security officials, who requested anonymity to discuss the sensitive information, said suspects involved in a pair of deadly suicide attacks on a church in Peshawar, a provincial capital in northwest Pakistan, were killed in Tuesday's strikes.
The Pakistani Taliban, whose leaders aspire to overthrow the government in Islamabad and install an Islamic state, claimed responsibility for both attacks and vowed to carry out others. The area targeted in Tuesday's bombings is known to be a headquarters for the Pakistani Taliban.
Separately on Tuesday, two women and one man working on a
Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world where polio remains endemic, in part due to militant attacks on health workers administering the vaccine.