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Pakistan army launches operation against militants

The Pakistani army has launched what it calls a "comprehensive operation" to wipe out Islamist militants in the North Waziristan region.

It follows last week's attack on an airport in the city of Karachi, for which the Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility.

An air strike on militant bases last night was claimed to have killed about 100 militants, many of whom are thought to have been foreign fighters.

"Our valiant armed forces have been tasked to eliminate these terrorists regardless of hue and colour, along with their sanctuaries," the army said in a statement.

Pakistan air raids kill 'around 100 militants'

Around 100 militants have been killed in nothwestern Pakistan after military jets carried out air strikes on militant hideouts in the North Waziristan tribal area this morning.

As many as 100 militants are dead after Pakistani military jets pounded militant hideouts in the northwest of the country. Credit: Reuters

Pakistani air force jets targeted eight militant hideouts in the region, according to unidentified intelligence officials.

Many of the dead were believed to be Uzbeks and other foreign fighters, who had been meeting to discuss a deadline given by authorities for militants to leave the area, said two of the Pakistani officials.

The information could not be independently verified.


Freed Bergdahl to be given 'time and space' to recover

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been taken to the Brooke Army Medical Centre in Texas to recover. Credit: Reuters

Released Taliban captive Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been taken to the Brooke Army Medical Centre in Texas where he will begin the next phase of his "reintegration process", the Pentagon said.

In a statement released by Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby, he said:

"Secretary Hagel is confident that the army will continue to ensure that Sgt. Bergdahl receives the care, time and space he needs to complete his recovery and reintegration."

Released Taliban captive Bergdahl arrives in the US

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has arrived home to the US after five years as a Taliban captive. Credit: Reuters

US army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, freed by the Taliban after five years in captivity, has arrived at a Texas military base, the Pentagon has said.

Bergdahl has been recovering in Germany and is now due to be taken to the Brooke Army Medical Centre for treatment.

FBI investigate threats against Bergdahl family

The FBI is investigating threats against the family of former Taliban prisoner Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

The threats come after a number of former comrades of Bergdahl made television appearances accusing him of being a "deserter".

Sgt. Bow Bergdahl's hometown, Hailey, Idaho, has been swamped with hate mail. Credit: Reuters

His home town was forced to cancel plans for a welcome-celebration for the soldier, who has been released after five years of captivity in Afghanistan, due to security concerns.

Hailey, Idaho, a town of 8,000, where Sgt Bergdahl's parents, Bob and Jani Bergdahl, live, has been swamped with hate mail and angry calls. FBI spokesman William Facer said:

"The FBI continues to monitor the situation in Hailey, Idaho. We are working jointly with our state and local partners and taking each threat seriously."

Parents of freed US soldier hurt by 'deserter' claims

Jani and Bob Bergdahl, the parents of captured US Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, address a rally held in their son's honoUr Credit: Reuters

The former pastor of the parents of a US soldier released from Taliban captivity after nearly five years says they have been "really hurt" by claims that he was a traitor and the outpouring of anger towards their family.

Pastor Phil Proctor of Sterling Presbyterian Church in Sterling, Virginia, said Bob and Jani Bergdahl were surprised by interviews they had seen with former platoon mates of their son Bowe.

Proctor said the Bergdahls, who live in Idaho, have yet to speak to their son, who is currently recovering at a military hospital in Germany.


Clinton: US 'always sought' Berghdal release

Celebratory signs are displayed outside Zaney's coffeeshop in Hailey, Idaho. Credit: Reuters

Hillary Clinton's new book has revealed that Barack Obama's government demanded the release of captured US soldier Sgt Bowe Bergdahl in every prisoner discussion it held with the Taliban.

The former US secretary of state also says in her book, Hard Choices, that she recommended President Obama end the decades-long US embargo on Cuba to force Fidel and Raul Castro into democratic change.

Hometown cancels celebrations for freed Bergdahl

Celebrations due to be held in Idaho, the hometown of US army Sgt Bowe Bergdahl, have been cancelled.

Bergdahl was released after five years in Taliban captivity amid controversy over the circumstances surrounding his capture.

Read: Taliban video shows 'US prisoner release'

Sgt Bergdahl, freed after five years in Taliban captivity. His hometown of Idaho has cancelled planned celebrations. Credit: Reuters

Chuck Hagel warns against Bergdahl 'judgements'

US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel said it was unfair to jump to conclusions about released captive Sgt Bowe Bergdahl until the circumstances around his capture by the Taliban had been reviewed.

US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel speaking at a Nato conference in Brussels today. Credit: Reuters

Mr Hagel said:" "We don't do that in the United States. We rely on facts.

"It's not my place as a former sergeant in the Army to decide who's worthy of being a sergeant and who isn't."

Sgt Bergdahl had been held in Afghanistan for five years but was released on Saturday amid speculation that he might face desertion charges.

Read more: Freed US soldier 'may face desertion charges'

Mr Hagel said the army would review all the circumstances surrounding how he left his unit and was captured by the Taliban.

US: No reason to doubt authenticity of release video

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told NBC News there was "no reason to doubt the authenticity" of the clip purporting to show US soldier Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who has spent five years in Taliban captivity, being handed back into US custody.

The Taliban has released a video purporting to show Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl being handed over to American custody. Credit: Taliban

He said: "US officials are currently reviewing the video, but our focus right now is in getting Bergdahl the care he needs."

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