At least 24 Islamic militants were killed on Saturday in fierce fighting with Pakistani government troops hunting Taliban fighters near the Afghan border, a security official said.
More than 150 militants have been killed since Thursday in different parts of Bajaur district, in an ongoing clampdown on Al Qaeda and Taliban extremists hiding in the rugged region.
“Twenty-four militants have been killed across Bajaur in the latest clashes,” the security official said, adding that helicopter gunships had destroyed several Taliban hideouts in the area.
Pakistani forces have for weeks been targeting rebel positions in Bajaur, in a major operation that has seen nearly 700 people killed, mostly militants, and 260,000 displaced. Pakistan’s tribal regions have been wracked by violence since hundreds of Taliban and Al Qaeda rebels fled there after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001.
Qaeda supporter held in Germany
Federal prosecutors said that they have arrested a 30-year-old Turkish man on suspicion of collecting money and recruiting supporters for Al Qaeda in Germany. The man, identified only as Omer O., is also suspected of assisting a German man of Pakistani heritage, identified as Aleem N., who was arrested in February and charged with membership in Osama bin Laden’s terrorist organisation.