Peshawar: Over 50 people, including 41
Taliban fighters and 10 security personnel, were killed in
fierce clashes in the restive Bajaur tribal region and the
Swat vally in northwest Pakistan on Wednesday.
Security forces backed by gunship helicopters and
artillery killed 38 militants in Bajaur Agency, which the army
claimed had been cleared of the Taliban following a nearly
two-year-long military operation.
Ten security personnel were also killed and 23
militants arrested during the clashes.
Two Taliban hideouts were also destroyed, officials
Troops launched an operation today after receiving a
tip-off that militants were present in Samasai and Ghundo
areas of Bajaur Agency.
The militants reportedly entered the area from Mohmand
"At least 38 militants and 10 soldiers were killed,"
Bajaur Agency`s administration chief Zakir Hussain Afridi told
He also showed the media 18 bodies of militants.
In the Swat valley, militants gunned down two members
of a pro-government peace committee in Charbagh sub-division,
a former stronghold of the Taliban.
Soon after the attack, security forces launched a
The troops came face to face with a group of militants
in Kandao area and asked them to surrender.
The militants started firing indiscriminately and
three of them were killed when the troops retaliated.
Weapons and ammunition were recovered from the dead
Pakistani troops launched an operation to flush out
the Taliban from Bajaur Agency in August 2008.
Officials had said that the region had been largely
cleared of militants. The Taliban have distributed leaflets
warning the Levies Force, a local militia, not to conduct
operations against militants.
The militants also said they would continue their
fight against the US and its allies in Bajaur Agency.
The Taliban have also pasted posters in markets and at
mosques that said the militants would take action against
people who backed the government.
The government has set June 30 as the deadline for
militants in Bajaur Agency to surrender.
Authorities have said they will destroy the homes of
militants who do not lay down arms.