Air strikes kill 18 Taliban militants in northwest Pakistan
Peshawar: Eighteen Taliban militants and two women were killed on Sunday in air strikes and clashes in the Orakzai and Bajaur tribal regions and the Swat valley in Pakistan`s restive northwest, security officials said.
A vehicle and four militant hideouts were destroyed in air strikes by helicopter gunships at Saifal Darra in Orakzai Agency.
At least 12 militants were killed and eight injured in the bombardment, officials said.
In the Bajaur Agency, three militants and two women were killed when the gunships targeted Tob Mandal, Markhundai and other suburban areas of Salarzai sub-division.
In the Swat valley, three militants were killed in a gun battle with security forces.
The clash began when militants attacked a patrol at Bakro Sar in Matta sub-division.
However, Taliban spokesman Hafiz Saeed denied that any militants had been killed in the air strikes in Bajaur and Orakzai regions.
The security forces have claimed to have killed 63 hardcore militants and injured 47 others in air strikes over the past week.
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