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Pakistan Launches Major Operations Against Taliban

Pakistani army chief Raheel Sharif addresses internally displaced Pakistani civilians fleeing a 2014 military operation against Taliban militants in the North Waziristan tribal agency.

The Pakistani military has struck suspected Taliban targets in the mountainous northwestern region of North Waziristan.

Military jets pounded suspected Taliban hideouts in the heavily forested ravines of the Shawal Valley early on May 15.

At least 15 militants were reportedly killed in the strikes, described by an unnamed government official as a "massive military action."

Residents said tanks and soldiers were approaching the valley from the north and south.

The Pakistani Taliban controlled almost all of North Waziristan until troops launched a long-awaited offensive there in June 2014.

The Taliban still maintain control of the Shawal Valley and have used it as a launching pad for attacks on Pakistani forces.

The Pakistani Taliban are allied with the Afghan Taliban and share a similar jihadist ideology.

But they operate as a separate entity, focused on toppling the Pakistani state and establishing strict Islamic rule.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters