Taliban attacked a Pakistani security post close to the Afghan border sparking a fierce battle, which left 16 militants and two border guards dead, as army helicopter gunships pounded militant positions in various parts of Buner as operations entered the fifth day on Saturday.
A group of heavily armed militants attacked the check post in Mohmand tribal region, killing two border guards and wounding five others. Pakistani troops had recently carried out a huge operation in the area to flush out the Taliban who were threatening the provincial capital of Peshawar.
Three more security personnel, including the official in-charge of the post, were reported missing after the attack.
The Frontier Corps repulsed the attack using artillery and mortars and after the attack 16 militant bodies were found near the post, official sources were quoted as saying by TV news channels.
Pakistani army top brass had recently claimed that Taliban mini-state in Mohmand and in adjoining Bajaur agency in tribal areas had been dismantled.
The attacks were in apparent retaliation for the operations against the Taliban in Dir and Buner districts of the NWFP. Nearly 200 militants have been killed in the two districts since the operations were launched last weekend.
Pakistani troops today continued to target militant positions in Dir and Buner, located near the federal capital, with artillery and mortars.
Helicopter gunships were also used to attack militant positions in Ambela, Kandao, Kalpani and Johar areas. Several areas in Buner remained under curfew, an official said.
Security forces were seen marching towards Ambela and Kandao areas of Buner as the operation in the area entered its fifth day.
There were also reports that authorities had imposed curfew in Shangla near Swat this morning to facilitate the movement of troops in the area.
Shangla is closer to Islamabad than Buner and the troops were deployed following reports that the Taliban from Swat had begun moving into the area.
In the nearby Bajaur tribal region, one civilian was killed and five women were injured when militants fired several rockets in the Salarzai area. Two houses were also destroyed.
One civilian was killed and several others were injured when militants carried out an attack with rockets at Landi Kotal in the Khyber tribal region.
Meanwhile, the Taliban in North Waziristan tribal region have distributed pamphlets warning mobile phone companies not to operate in the area.