Islamabad: With the Pakistani security forces continuing its offensive in the Orakzai Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), at least 39 more Taliban extremists were reportedly killed in the region.
According to sources, a security official was also killed and 15 others wounded in the gunfight with militants in different regions of the agency.
Fifteen militants were killed during a clash in the Dabori Ali Khel area in upper Orakzai, while security personnel were also injured in the fighting, The Daily Times reports.
Separately, at least 24 Taliban were killed in the Hatango area.
Security forces also destroyed two militant hideouts.
It worth mentioning here that earlier this month the Pakistan Army had declared that the offensive in the region has been successful with militants rooted out of the area.
However, clashes with extremists have continued unabated raising doubts over the Army’s claims.
Even the local residents and officials have said that more than half of the region is still under the Taliban’s control.
Locals said that the battle is far from over, as extremists are still holding a large part of the agency.
“The military has cleared only Lower Orakzai, while the situation in upper and central Orakzai has not changed much, as the army is yet to evict the Taliban from these areas. The battle is far from over,” local residents of Lower Orakzai said.
“In Upper Orakzai, security forces took control of Daburi, while Mamozai, Ghaljo and Shahoo areas are still in Taliban control,” they added.
Local officials also said Uzbek and other terrorists belonging to the “Lal Masjid group” and the Taliban from Swat, Bajaur and Waziristan were putting up stiff resistance in Upper Orakzai.
First Published: Thursday, June 24, 2010, 12:06