Hundreds rally against army operation in Pakistani tribal area where they say civilians killed

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Pakistanis are rallying against an army operation in the northwest where residents say many civilians have been killed. The military says the offensive targeted militants in North Waziristan.

About 300 people, mostly students from North Waziristan, took to the streets on Friday in the frontier city of Peshawar to denounce the operation and demand an investigation.

The military says the escalation began late Wednesday when a military convoy dispatched to assist with troop casualties came under attack. It says the convoy returned fired and in the gunbattles that followed killed a total of 33 militants.

But some residents in the area accuse the military of killing innocent civilians, a charge the military denies.

Journalists cannot travel easily to North Waziristan, which makes it difficult to independently verify such incidents.