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Over 50 killed as Pakistani soldiers and militants clash

world Updated: Mar 18, 2012 23:05 IST

AFP
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At least 51 militants and four soldiers have been killed in air strikes and clashes with Pakistani security forces in the restive northwest over the past week, officials said on Sunday.



On Sunday, Pakistani planes bombed a tribal belt bordering Afghanistan, killing 26 militants, a senior paramilitary official said.

“Pakistani jet strikes today killed 26 militants and wounded 15 others and destroyed their seven hideouts in different areas of Upper Orakzai and Kurram (tribal districts),” the official said.

Most of Upper Orakzai is in Taliban hands and is the scene of frequent clashes between security forces and Islamist militants.

Separately, at least 25 militants and four soldiers were killed in Bara, a restive town in Khyber tribal district in gunfights between March 12 and 18, the official said.

“Four security forces personnel embraced martyrdom and 12 others were wounded in gunfights which left 25 militants dead,” he said.

The official said that no militant had been killed in custody and added that the military operation was directed at the militants belonging to the Taliban-linked Laskhar-e-Islam group that is led by warlord Mangal Bagh.

The group has been involved in recent suicide attacks and kidnapping in the northwestern city of Peshawar, which borders Khyber, he said.

Two local intelligence officials confirmed the clashes and the death toll.