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7 militants killed in Pak bombing raids

world Updated: Aug 03, 2009 19:48 IST
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Seven militants were killed when Pakistani warplanes pounded rebel positions in the northwestern Dir district while 16 others were captured by security forces during search and clearance operations across the restive Malakand division.

Jets bombarded militant positions in Dog Darra area of Dir, where dozens of rebels holed up after local residents formed 'lashkars' or militias to take on the Taliban. TV news channels quoted officials as saying that seven militants were killed in the bombardment.

The lashkars in Dir have been backed by the security forces in their offensive against Taliban fighters hiding in several remote mountainous villages.

Troops continued their search and clearance operations in Malakand division, which includes the Swat valley. Three militants surrendered to security forces at Shangla while 16 others were captured in different parts of Buner and Swat districts, the military said.

Security forces apprehended a militant near Chuprial and defused an improvised explosive device planted on a track during a search operation. Two more militants were captured and three houses of rebels were demolished during an operation near Bar Durshkhela and Shakardarra, both former Taliban strongholds.

Six suspects were captured during a search and clearance operation at Puronai and Kukarai. Four militants were apprehended in Salampur and four rifles and some ammunition recovered from them.

Another rebel was captured during a search operation at Dargai Killay.

Two militants were captured at Katkalla village in Buner district. Troops also seized a small machine gun, two pistols and a computer during a search near Mingora, the main city in Swat.

Violence has continued in Swat and other parts of Malakand amidst the return of thousands of people who were displaced by a three-month military operation against the Taliban.