`6 Pak soldiers, 40 militants killed in fierce clashes`

A week after the Pakistan Army said it had concluded its campaign against Taliban fighters in Orakzai Agency, six soldiers and 40 militants were killed in fierce clashes in the volatile tribal region.

Updated: Jun 08, 2010, 23:42 PM IST

Peshawar: A week after the Pakistan Army
said it had concluded its campaign against Taliban fighters in
Orakzai Agency, six soldiers and 40 militants were killed in
fierce clashes in the volatile tribal region on Tuesday.

The clashes occurred in Karwanjaki area in Orakzai
Agency, security sources said. A captain was among the six
soldiers who were killed. Besides, 15 security personnl were
also injured in the fighting, they said.

Ten militants were also injured in gun battles, the
sources said.

The Pakistan military had said on June 1 that a
visit to Orakzai Agency by army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani
marked the "successful conclusion of operations" in the
region.

However, local residents have said that more than half
of the semi-autonomous tribal district is still under the
Taliban’s control.

Local residents also told the media that the battle in
Orakzai Agency is far from over as the military has only
cleared the lower parts of the region.

The Taliban continue to control areas like Mamozai,
Ghaljo and Shahoo areas in the upper part of Orakzai Agency,
they said.

Taliban fighters from the Swat valley in
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Bajaur Agency and the Waziristan region
are believed to be holed up in Orakzai Agency.

The military claims it has killed over 1,000 Taliban
fighters since an offensive was launched in Orakzai Agency
over two months ago though the figure cannot be independently
confirmed as journalists have no access to the region.

PTI