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37 militants, 6 soldiers killed in Pakistan

PTI 11 Nov 2014, 22:38:18 PM IST

Islamabad: At least 37 militants, including some foreign fighters believed to be involved in the deadly Wagah Border attack, were killed today by Pakistani military which also lost six soldiers in the restive northwestern tribal region.

Pakistan jets pounded militant hideouts in Daras area of Khyber along the Pak-Afghan border killing at least 13 militants, including some foreigners believed to be involved in the November 2 suicide blast at the Wagah Border with India in which 63 people died.

A suicide bomber blew himself up at the Wagah Border when a large number of people were returning after watching the popular flag-lowering ceremony.

The ISPR said three militant hideouts were also destroyed in the airstrikes following an intelligence tip off in Khyber where rebels of Lashkar-e-Islam group are active.  In other separate incidents in the northwest tribal region, at least six soldiers and 24 militants were killed today.

In Shirin Dara area of Orakzai district, militants attacked an army post resulting in a gunbattle between the terrorists and security forces. Fifteen militants and two soldiers were killed in the exchange of fire.  

In Bannu, two security officials were killed and three others injured in a bomb blast when a convoy was targeted. The roadside explosion badly damaged the vehicles.  A remote-controlled bomb blast in Salarzai vicinity of Bajaur Agency killed two levies personnel and injured three others.

In another incident, at least nine militants were killed and 12 others injured in the Akakhel area of Bara Agency.  Pakistan's northwest tribal region, infested with insurgency, has been the hotbed of military operations aimed at clearing out the region from homegrown and foreign rebels.  

Security forces launched operation Khyber-I in the region in October, after reports suggested that militants escaping another such operation, named Zarb-i-Azb, in North Waziristan were taking refuge in the mountainous Tirah Valley of Khyber.  Radio Pakistan reported that operation Khyber-I is continuing successfully and so far 135 terrorists have been killed.

Khyber is among Pakistan's seven semi-autonomous tribal districts near the Afghan border. The key region also straddles the NATO supply line into Afghanistan.  The army says it has killed more than 1,100 militants and lost around 100 soldiers since the start of the operationin June after militants attacked the Karachi airport and ended a faltering peace talk between government and insurgents.