Pakistani jets pound militant hideout in tribal area

Pakistani soldiers and policemen cordon off the site of a suicide bomb attack in Rawalpindi on January 20, 2014. A Taliban suicide bomber killed at least nine people in a market close to Pakistan's military headquarters, a day after one of the deadliest attacks on security forces in recent years.

PESHAWAR - Pakistani fighter jets pounded tribal areas near the Afghan border in an operation against Taliban militants on Tuesday, flattening several houses and sending villagers fleeing from their homes, military sources and local residents said.

The air strikes took place as domestic pressure grew on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to take tougher action against Taliban militants following a string of attacks across Pakistan in the past week.

"This hadn't been planned before, and Pakistan air force fighter jets were called to hit hideouts of the militants involved in attacks on security forces," said one military official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The army was not immediately available for a comment.

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