PESHAWAR, Pakistan (New York Times) — Military action against the Pakistani Taliban intensified on both sides of the border with Afghanistan on Friday, officials said, in a reflection of hardening resolve to fight the group after it carried out the school massacre in Peshawar this week.
In Pakistan, the military said it killed 62 militants in airstrikes and clashes near the border, mostly in the Khyber agency, a tribal area, on Thursday and Friday. The fighting was an indication that the Taliban’s operations have continued to spread out in response to the continuing military operation in the nearby North Waziristan region, which had long been the most concentrated center of militant power in Pakistan.
Just across the border, in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar, the international military coalition carried out airstrikes that killed at least five militants. A Western official briefed on the strikes, but speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said that the operation was directly targeting elements of the Pakistani Taliban that were thought to have aided in the Peshawar school killings.
After the school attack, senior Afghan and Pakistani officials reaffirmed their commitment to work together against the Pakistani Taliban on both sides of the border. Militant hide-outs in the rugged and remote Pashtun tribal areas that span both countries have long been a point of tension, with Afghanistan and Pakistan each accusing the other of sheltering militant proxies.