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Pakistan and Afghanistan discuss security amid strikes

Bishkek (AKIpress) - _75575388_7da9afef-2114-493e-ba85-cd61cfefd06f The Pakistani and Afghan leaders have discussed regional security amid air strikes against militants in Pakistan's north-west tribal areas.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Hamid Karzai held talks by phone, on the second day of Pakistani air raids in North Waziristan, BBC said.

The army said about 170 militants have been killed in the offensive, and at least six soldiers have died.

It comes days after a deadly attack on Karachi airport claimed by the Taliban.

Pakistan has asked Afghanistan to help seal potential militant escape routes across the porous border into Afghanistan, the BBC's Mike Wooldridge in Islamabad reports.

Pakistan has been fighting an Islamist insurgency for more than a decade, with the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) the main militant grouping.

Speaking earlier on Monday, Mr Sharif told parliament the air strikes were necessary because "the enemy has left us no choice".

"We will no longer allow Pakistan to be a sanctuary for terrorism at any cost," he said.

"The world knows that on the one hand we were engaged in dialogue with these people and on the other hand our children, women and youth were being bathed in blood.

"It is a matter of sorrow and pain that after four-and-a-half months of talks, we could not make a breakthrough for peace," he added.

The government had begun peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban earlier this year, but there was little progress.


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