Renewed pitched battles erupted on Thursday around the Taliban stronghold of Sararogha with 28 militants and five soldiers killed in fresh clashes, as US drones, after a brief lull fired missiles targeting a hideout in North Waziristan killing five other insurgents.
Pakistani forces advancing along three fronts on Taliban hubs also faced heavy firefight as Taliban fighters held them back from overrunning their other key stronghold of Ladha in South Waziristan.
Heavy street fighting is reported going on in the town over the past 24 hours. Pakistani forces claimed they had captured the Ladha fort.
Fresh fighting was again reported from Sararogha, which the Army claimed to have captured on Tuesday, and the five Army soldiers, including an officer were killed in a blast in the town, which was a former operational base of slain Taliban warlord Baitullah Mehsud.
"In last 24 hours, 28 terrorists have been killed while five were apprehended. Security forces losses are five soldiers," the military said in a statement.
Heavy fighting was also reported in villages between Shakai and Kaniourram, also in South Waziristan where security forces killed seven militants as retaliation for a heavy rocket attack.
As heavy fighting continued in South Waziristan, US Drones, after a brief lull began targeting militants, hitting their hideouts in Naurak village killing five militants.
Five militants were killed in an exchange of fire in this area. The military says nearly 400 militants and about 36 soldiers have died so far in fighting though the figures cannot be independently verified as journalists have no access to the conflict zone.
Pakistan has deployed over 30,000 soldiers backed by tanks and artillery to take on an estimated 10,000 Taliban militants and foreign fighters from South Waziristan.
Troops also continued search and clearance operations in the northwestern Swat valley, where five suspects related to a militant commander were captured near Fatehpur.
Nine militants also surrendered to security forces in this region, the military said.
TV channels also quoted officials as saying by that Taliban commanders Abdul Wali and Saifullah were captured during a search operation at Kuzabandai in Charbagh.
Courts and several government buildings across Swat were closed today following reports that militants might target them.