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70 militants killed in Pak's tribal region

At least 70 militants have been killed in clashes with security forces in Pakistan's restive northwestern Bajaur tribal region, reports said.

world Updated: Aug 08, 2008 20:30 IST

At least 70 militants have been killed and 60 more injured in clashes with security forces in Pakistan's restive northwestern Bajaur tribal region, reports said on Friday.

Security forces backed by gunship helicopters targeted militant hideouts in Bajaur Agency, where 10 security personnel have died in the fighting that erupted on Wednesday after troops reoccupied a check post that was abandoned eight months ago.

Seventy militants have been killed and 60 others injured in the fighting so far, Geo News channel reported.

Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Maulvi Omar said the militants had killed 16 security personnel and captured 17 more. The militants also claimed to have destroyed five vehicles of the security forces near Loisam town. There was no independent confirmation of these claims.

Omar also said the Taliban would start attacking security forces and government installations in the North West Frontier Province if the operations against the militants did not stop.

Hundreds of Taliban fighters attacked a security check post near the border with Afghanistan late on Wednesday, sparking fierce clashes in Bajaur Agency. The security forces have deployed a large contingent to reclaim areas currently held by the Taliban.

Omar said the Taliban would use all their resources to regain control of the Loisam area.