At least 44 militants were killed on Thursday by Pakistani troops as part of a major offensive against the Taliban in the country's restive northwestern region, where four civilians also died in shelling allegedly carried out by security forces.
Sixteen militants, including some top Taliban commanders, were killed and 20 more injured in Kuza Bandai area of the troubled Swat valley, military officials were quoted by TV channels as saying.
Earlier in the day, eight militants, including two commanders, were killed in clashes with the security forces in the same area.
Another 20 militants were killed during a heavy exchange of fire with paramilitary personnel in the troubled Darra Adam Khel region of NWFP early this morning, said a statement from the Frontier Corps.
Militants fired rockets on a security check post near Tor Ghundai, injuring two security personnel. The rockets were fired from the nearby Bajaur tribal region.
Militants also fired several rockets at a security forces camp in Khar, the headquarters of Bajaur Agency. Three security personnel were injured in the incident.
Four civilians also died in shelling carried out by the security forces before they launched an offensive at Kuza Bandai in Swat, the reports said.
Yesterday, security forces had killed 30 militants and injured 35 more in Swat, where the army launched a major drive against Taliban fighters led by radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah.