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Taliban hideouts pounded, 40 militants killed

world Updated: May 03, 2010 01:46 IST

Helicopter gunships pounded Taliban positions in the restive Orakzai tribal region in northwest Pakistan on Sunday, killing 40 militants and destroying ten hideouts.

The helicopters shelled militant positions at Kole Bargan in Dabori area of Orakzai Agency, killing four militants and destroying two hideouts, official sources said.

Thirty-six more rebels were killed and four more injured when the gunships targeted hideouts in Ghiljo, Khadizai and Ghandaki areas of Orkazai Agency.

Four militant compounds were destroyed in the air strikes.

Two security personnel were injured when a mortar shell hit a check post at Mishti Mela in Orakzai Agency, officials said.

The official sources told PTI that security forces have given local residents three days to vacate Dabori area, where troops are set to launch an operation to flush out the Taliban.

Officials claim troops have killed over 500 militants and destroyed 75 hideouts since an offensive was launched in Orakzai Agency five weeks ago.

The figure cannot be independently confirmed as journalists are barred from reporting from the conflict zone.

Security forces also clamped curfew for two days in the central part of Kurram Agency and arrested seven suspects.