More than 30 Pakistani militants killed in fighting: Officials

AFP , Tuesday 16 Sep 2014

Pakistan's military said on Tuesday it killed 31 militants in air strikes and ground clashes along its restive border with Afghanistan, as three soldiers also died in the fighting.

The air strikes took place in the Tirah Valley of the Khyber tribal district, "killing 20 terrorists and destroying three of their hideouts and two ammunition dumps", according to a statement.

A security official told AFP that jet fighters bombed the Tordara Koki Khel area of the Khyber district, where the Taliban and another banned militant group, Lashkar-e-Islam, have taken refuge.

Militants launched a separate cross-border attack at a military post in the North Waziristan tribal district, officials said.

The army in June began a major offensive in North Waziristan aimed at clearing the area of Taliban and other insurgent groups.

A statement said troops repulsed the early morning attack at the Dandi Kuch post in the Spinwam area of the district.

"11 terrorists were killed and one apprehended. The dead bodies of three terrorists are with security forces," it said, adding three paramilitary troops were also killed.

Pakistan and Afghanistan frequently accuse each other of supporting cross-border attacks by militants.

The death tolls and identities of those killed could not be independently verified. Residents have said many civilians have died in air strikes.

Pakistan's army says it has killed more than a thousand militants and lost 86 soldiers since the start of the operation, though the numbers cannot be independently verified as journalists do not have regular access to the combat zone.

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