Pakistani security forces killed at least 43 militants and lost three soldiers in overnight clashes and airstrikes in the conflict-ridden north-western districts near the Afghan border, officials and media reports said on Sunday, dpa reported.
Up to a dozen insurgents were killed on Sunday when Pakistani aircraft pounded militant hideouts in the restive Bajaur tribal district, a known hub of al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters.
"Jets targeted the positions in Khar and Mamoond areas, killing at least 12 militants and leaving many more injured," a security officials said on condition of anonymity.
Successive explosions were reported from the bombed locations, suggesting ammunition caches were also hit, the official added.
The raids came a day after security forces killed 16 militants in attacks carried out by warplanes from the air force and helicopter gunships of the army.
Several compounds in the use of the rebels were also destroyed with artillery fire on Saturday, English-language daily The News reported. Clouds of smoke could be seen billowing from the bombed villages, a local resident told the newspaper.
Government forces launched a major offensive in Bajaur in early August to clear the area of Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters who have been launching cross-border attacks on US troops in the Afghan province of Kunar.
According to official data, more than 1,500 militants and 74 troops have so far been killed in the operation, which also caused numerous civilian casualties and displaced around 250,000 people.
Separately, Taliban fighters fired on the security forces in the Shangwatai area of Swat district in the North Western Frontier Province (NWFP) on Saturday, triggering heavy fighting, The News cited a military spokesman as saying.
Ten attackers disguised as government troops were killed in the crossfire and a score of more injured, while three soldiers from the paramilitary Frontier Corps lost their lives.
Five more Taliban died in the clashes that continued in several other parts of Swat, where the military is fighting the followers of radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah, who is trying to enforce Taliban rule in the region.
Swat used to be a tourist haven until early 2007, drawing crowds of holidaymakers to the Buddhist archaeological sites and Pakistan's only ski resort, which has now been destroyed by the Islamic insurgents. The mountain valley is also known for its trout streams.