'6 Pak soldiers, 40 militants killed in fierce clashes'
A week after the Pakistan Army said it had concluded its campaign against Taliban fighters in Orakzai Agency, six soldiers and 40 militants were killed in fierce clashes in the volatile tribal region today.world Updated: Jun 09, 2010 01:03 IST
A week after the Pakistan Army said it had concluded its campaign against Taliban fighters in Orakzai Agency, six soldiers and 40 militants were killed in fierce clashes in the volatile tribal region on Tuesday.
The clashes occurred in Karwanjaki area in Orakzai Agency, security sources said. A captain was among the six soldiers who were killed. Besides, 15 security personnl were also injured in the fighting, they said.
Ten militants were also injured in gun battles, the sources said.
The Pakistan military had said on June 1 that a visit to Orakzai Agency by army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani marked the "successful conclusion of operations" in the region.
However, local residents have said that more than half of the semi-autonomous tribal district is still under the Taliban’s control.
Local residents also told the media that the battle in Orakzai Agency is far from over as the military has only cleared the lower parts of the region.
The Taliban continue to control areas like Mamozai, Ghaljo and Shahoo areas in the upper part of Orakzai Agency, they said.
Taliban fighters from the Swat valley in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Bajaur Agency and the Waziristan region are believed to be holed up in Orakzai Agency.
The military claims it has killed over 1,000 Taliban fighters since an offensive was launched in Orakzai Agency over two months ago though the figure cannot be independently confirmed as journalists have no access to the region.