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Pakistani jets bomb militants near Afghan border

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (AP) - Amid speculation that a new ground offensive against the Taliban is imminent, Pakistani jets have been bombing militant targets today in South Waziristan, the main insurgent stronghold along the Afghan border.

An intelligence official in the region says the bombing runs have destroyed 15 houses.

Militants have carried out four major terrorist attacks over the last nine days, including a 22-hour siege on the army's headquarters and a suicide attack on a U.N. office in the capital. Yesterday, a suicide bombing struck a market in the northwest, killing 41 people.

The army says 80 percent of the militant attacks plaguing the country are planned from South Waziristan. The United States says insurgent leaders behind the growing violence in Afghanistan are also based in the remote, lawless area.

Jets have been bombing targets and trying to cut off militant supply and communication lines ahead of what is expected to a bloody and difficult ground operation in the mountainous region.

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