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Pakistan: 50 militants killed in clashes

April 10, 2010 20:33 IST

Nearly 50 militants and a soldier were killed on Saturday in a gun battle and air strikes in Pakistan's lawless tribal belt bordering Afghanistan, officials said.

The air strikes targeted a meeting of the Lashkar-e-Islam in the Tirah valley of Khyber tribal region.

An official of the local administration said that at least 42 militants of the Lashkar-e-Islam were killed and two militant hideouts destroyed.

"The air strikes were launched following a tip-off that a meeting of the Lashkar-e-Islam was being held in Tirah," the official said.

The Pakistani troops launched several operations in the Khyber Agency in the past two years to flush out militants.

In a separate incident, a solider and six Taliban fighters were killed in a gun battle in South Waziristan, where the army launched a major offensive in October last year.

The clash occurred in Sararogha town after militants attacked a security check post early this morning, an official statement said.

Meanwhile, an operation against militants in the Orakzai tribal region entered its 18th day.

Security forces have claimed they have killed over 250 militants in the region and that the area is now under their complete control.

According to reports, troops have flushed out militants in Stori Khel, Feroz Khel, Chapri Feroz Khel, Mushti, Chapar Mushti, Berot, Merobak, Kandara, Sheikhan, Goyin and other areas.

About 100 militants were also injured while eight security personnel, including a lieutenant colonel, were killed.

A total of 54 bodies of militants were found during a search operation in Berot area of Orakzai Agency, officials said.

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