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PESHAWAR: Twenty-three suspected militants were killed when military planes bombed their hideouts near Afghan border in North Waziristan Agency on Monday, Inter-Services Public Relations said.

The air strike was carried out at Bangidar in tehsil Ghulam Khan and several hideouts were bombed, said the ISPR statement.

The claim could not be verified from independent sources in the area.

“Twenty-three militants were killed in precise aerial strikes on terrorist hideouts in Bangidar area of Ghulam Khan in North Waziristan,” a security official told AFP in a text message.

The military says the major towns of Miramshah and Mirali have now been cleared of insurgents, along with a strategically important 90km road through North Waziristan.

But scattered attacks on forces in the area continue.

Three constables and a civilian were killed when gunmen attacked a checkpost on Thall road in Hangu on Monday.

An official told Dawn on phone from Hangu that an investigation had been launched into the attack, that took place at around 8.25am.

He said several people were present near the checkpost when it was attacked but they did not provide any information to investigators.

The slain policemen were Shahid Umar, Haji Rehman and Khurram Shehzad and the passerby was identified as Najeebullah.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

On Sunday, a local leader of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, Maulana Sher Alam Farooqi, was shot dead outside his house in Hangu.

A tense calm prevailed in town.

Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2014