Islamabad: Pakistan`s military says one soldier and seven militants have died in a gunbattle in the northwestern Swat Valley, where the Army has waged a four-month-old offensive against the Taliban.
An Army statement Wednesday says the clash came as security forces were conducting a search operation in the Charai area. It says 23 suspected militants were arrested in other areas of the valley over the previous 24 hours.
The valley, once a tourist haven, is slowly returning to normal as most of the 2 million people displaced by the offensive return.
Still, none of the Taliban`s top leaders are confirmed to have been killed or captured and pockets of resistance remain.
Late last month, a suicide bombing at a Swat police station killed 17 cadets.