Six security personnel, 30 militants killed in Pakistan

Last Updated: Saturday, April 3, 2010 - 23:51

Peshawar: Six security personnel and 30
militants were killed in fierce clashes in the troubled Orakzai tribal region of northwest Pakistan on Saturday, military
sources said.

Security forces took control of important heights
around the Bezoti area of Orakzai Agency after overcoming
stiff resistance by the militants, the sources said.

Troops also bombed militant hideouts in the region
near the Afghan border. Ground forces backed by gunship
helicopters took part in today`s operation.

Besides the 30 militants killed, "many" others were
injured in the fighting.

Ten security personnel were also injured, the sources
said. Security forces captured six militants during the

Troops took control of Qandaro and Goeen after the
clashes, while helicopter gunships bombed militant compounds
in Sultanzai and Utman Khel areas.

Initial reports suggested that many militants were
feared dead in the air strikes.

Orakzai tribal agency is considered a major base for
Hakimullah Mehsud, the top Pakistani Taliban commander who is
believed to have died in a US drone attack in January.

The Taliban have denied his death, but failed to
provide evidence that he is still alive.

The Pakistani Taliban have been under pressure in
their main stronghold of South Waziristan since the army
launched a ground offensive there in October last year.

Many of them are believed to have scattered to other
parts of the tribal belt that borders Afghanistan.

Pakistani troops recently launched an operation in
Orakzai Agency to flush out militants who fled to the region
after an offensive in South Waziristan last year.

Officials have claimed over 200 militants have been
killed since the operation was launched.

At least 10,000 people have fled from Orakzai Agency
and settled in a camp in Kohat district.


First Published: Saturday, April 3, 2010 - 23:51

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