Local troops and paramilitary forces, backed by helicopter gunships and warplanes, targeted the Taliban positions in the Beizai Tehsil of Mohmand Agency on Thursday, killing at least 18 militants and injuring 25 others, sources said.
Official sources told The Express Tribune that at least five security personnel were injured in the clashes that took place in the Doran Darra, Speera Gharr, Walidadsa areas of the Beizai Tehsil of the tribal region.
According to officials, security forces backed by gunship helicopters and heavy artillery were advancing on the Khayali Kaur and Oucko areas of the tehsil.
Local sources also said that the gunship helicopters also pounded the Sheikha Baba and Soran Darra areas of the Safi tehsil.
Security forces launched Operation Brekhna (Thunder) on April 6, and have since claimed killing dozens of militants in clashes. However, there have been no independent confirmations of these claims.
Meanwhile, sources also said that large scale displacement was taking place in these areas, where a military operation was ongoing. According to the sources, at least 150 families have reached the Kashmir Kor Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camp. They said that at least 1,600 families have so far taken shelter at this camp to escape the clashes in their areas.
Authorities have also launched a voluntary repatriation scheme for the displaced people of Mohmand and Bajaur agencies.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2011.