PESHAWAR: Ten soldiers and 23 militants were killed in a battle that lasted more than seven hours in Bara, Khyber Agency said security officials.
The security forces that had moved into the area almost a week back had established their posts in the area of Maira Sar, said sources.
The area has been consistently bombarded by helicopter shelling because it is considered to be a stronghold of Lashkar-e-Islam militants “at around 11:00pm last night militants attacked the post,” said a security official. “The battle continued till 5:00am in which ten security personnel were killed and three others were injured.”
While confirming that around 23 militants were also killed in the attack, the official said, “The situation is now stable and all the posts of the law enforcement agencies are intact.”
In a separate incident, two members of the militia battling the militants were killed when a roadside bomb exploded in the Sra Garhi area of Landikotal, said officials.
“The vehicle was destroyed said an official, one militiaman was killed while another was injured and succumbed to his injuries at a hospital,” the officials said.
A water tanker in Akakhel also came under attack from militants, however there were no casulties.
Lashkar-e-Islam, which is led by warlord Mangal Bagh, is said to be linked to Taliban militants and criminal gangs.
It was not possible to independently verify the official account of the incident as access to the area is restricted by the military.
Some 18,000 people fled their homes in Khyber in October last year amid fears of a fresh onslaught of fighting between the army and militants linked to the Pakistani Taliban.
Seven tribal districts near the Afghan border are rife with homegrown insurgents and are strongholds of Taliban and al Qaeda operatives.
Militants have killed more than 4,800 people across Pakistan since July 2007.