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Pakistan army claims 29 insurgents killed in tribal region

Other News Materials 4 May 2010 03:25 (UTC +04:00)
Pakistani armed forces on Monday killed at least 29 Islamist insurgents but lost two soldiers in clashes in the north-west of the country, security officials said.
Pakistan army claims 29 insurgents killed in tribal region

Pakistani armed forces on Monday killed at least 29 Islamist insurgents but lost two soldiers in clashes in the north-west of the country, security officials said.

Ground troops backed by artillery and helicopter gunships raided four villages to hunt Taliban militants in Bajaur, one of the seven tribal districts near Afghan border, DPA reported.

"Eighteen terrorists, including an important commander whose name is Parvez, died and many others were wounded," said Fazalur Rehman, a spokesman of paramilitary Frontier Corps force. Two soldiers were also killed in the action, he said.

Government forces launched an offensive in Bajaur in August 2008 against the Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters that launch cross-border attacks on NATO forces in the Afghan province of Kunar.

The 17-month campaign, which killed an estimated 2,200 militants and 149 soldiers, ended in March with the seizure of a complex of tunnels and caves frequently visited by al-Qaeda operatives in Damadola area.

Despite Islamabad's claim of victory, Taliban fighters continue to target security forces from hideouts in the mountains.

Elsewhere, a group of Taliban rebels attacked a security check post in Orakzai tribal district.

The troops killed at least 11 militants, according to a local security official who requested anonymity. "There were no losses on the side of our forces."

Orakzai became another flash point in the tribal region when government troops moved into the district in mid-March. The army was pursuing militants fleeing an earlier offensive in neighboring South Waziristan tribal district.

Army officials say several weeks of combat have left more than 600 militants and 18 troops dead. But the figures cannot be confirmed independently, since access to the mountainous region is very limited for aid workers and journalists.

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