ISLAMABAD, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani ground forces, backed by air power, are currently conducting a major operation in a rugged mountainous region to dismantle the hideouts of armed groups, especially Daesh or the so-called Islamic State, and to block their cross-border movement.
The operation in the Khyber tribal region is focused on Rajgal Valley, located at a height of nearly 4,200 meters above sea level, and the eight passes of which the militants now use to enter Pakistan for their activities.
They had previously been exploiting the absence on the ground of Pakistani forces in Rajgal, which borders Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province. The United States dropping of the so-called "Mother of All Bombs" in Nangarhar in April to eliminate a hideout of the Islamic State's fighters was a strong indication of the Daesh group's prevalence in the region.
Although the Pakistan military has cleared most areas held by the Taliban and other militant groups in seven tribal regions, the militants still use inaccessible routes in rugged mountains for cross-border movements to carry out attacks.
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