60 pro-Taliban militants killed in Pak`s tribal region

Pakistani security forces on Wednesday claimed to have killed 60 pro-Taliban militants, including would-be suicide bombers, during operations in the volatile tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

Updated: Sep 02, 2010, 00:24 AM IST

Peshawar: Pakistani security forces on Wednesday
claimed to have killed 60 pro-Taliban militants, including
would-be suicide bombers, during operations in the volatile
tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

Fifteen suspected militants were killed when gunship
helicopters shelled Taliban strongholds in the remote and
mountainous Chanarak area of Aurakzai tribal region this
afternoon, security officials said.
Ten militants were injured in the shelling. The air
strikes were carried out in a region that has been the target
of repeated military operations. The bombardment, which
continued for more than an hour, destroyed several rebel
hideouts.

An official of the political administration confirmed
the shelling and said, "It is true that several militants were
killed." The military had earlier claimed that it had secured
Aurakzai Agency.

Another 45 militants, including would-be suicide
bombers, were killed in air strikes in Nari Baba, Nakai,
Takhta Kai and Qilla areas of Tirah valley in Khyber Agency
yesterday.
Official sources said the would-be suicide bombers
were preparing to carry out attacks before the upcoming
Eid-ul-Fitr festival.

The sources said the militants were planning massive
suicide attacks in Peshawar and other parts of
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

The operation targeted members of the banned
Lashkar-e-Islam and the local Taliban in the remote Tirah
valley located close to the Afghan border.

Troops destroyed scores of training centres and
hideouts, several illegal FM radio stations and eight vehicles
prepared for suicide attacks.

However, some reports said family members of the
militants could also have been killed in the strikes.

Air strikes had killed 60 civilians in the Tirah
valley in April this year.

PTI