At least 18 militants were killed in clashes with security forces in different parts of the tribal region on Friday, sources said. The operations, which took place in Orakzai, Kurram and Khyber Agency, also resulted in the death of two security officials.
According to security sources, one clash took place in the Uchawna locality of the Khadezai area in Upper Orakzai, in which six militants were killed and many were injured.
The clash took place during an advance by security forces in the area and a solider identified as Masqsood Khan was killed. The fight is said to have lasted for three hours.
According to the sources, security forces have started a crackdown against militants in the Dabori area of Upper Orakzai and its surrounding area for the past four days.
There were also reports of shelling on the Nawab Ghari, Manropati, Barlas, Akhund Kot and Chapar areas of Upper Orakzai which killed around nine militants and destroyed eight militant hideouts, as well as two vehicles.
However, the Taliban have denied the claims made by the security forces. Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) self-purported spokesperson Hafiz Saeed told reporters in Orakzai that they have repulsed security forces’ offensive.
Separately, at least seven militants were killed in the Kurram tribal region, when gunship helicopters pounded militant hideouts in Central Kurram. Security sources said that sorties were carried out over the Jogi and Sama area, killing at least seven militants and destroying two hideouts.
Five militants and one security official were killed in another incident in Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency. The clash took place in the Nala area of the Malak Din Khel clan of Bara.
Meanwhile, security forces and members of the local lashkar arrested at least six suspects during a search operation in different parts of Safi tehsil of Mohmand agency on Friday.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 19th, 2011.
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