TANK, Jan 3: Warplanes bombed suspected locations of militants in South Waziristan on Thursday after an intelligence report that Pakistan Tehrik-i-Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud was hiding somewhere in the area.

Local people said that two planes dropped six bombs and attacked various areas in Tiarza, Emer Raghzai and Enzer in Sara Rogha subdivision at about 2pm.

Reports about casualties were not available till late night.

Sources said that a bomb exploded near a seminary in Emer Raghzai.

The government has blamed Baitullah for the gun-and-bomb attack at Liaquat Bagh on Dec 27 in which former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and 23 other people were killed.

The militant commander has denied the government claim.

On the Tank-Wana road, some armed men in the area, meanwhile, looted four vehicles carrying food for security forces in Berwand area.

Describing the situation in the Mehsud area as serious, former MNA Maulana Mirajuddin said the militants had linked release of four paramilitary soldiers with the freeing of their six comrades.

The former MNA, who has been negotiating with the militants to secure the release of the kidnapped soldiers, said that the Taliban had reiterated their condition that their six associates must be freed.

The militants had kidnapped the soldiers of Dir Scouts in Tiarza on Tuesday.

Maulana Mirajuddin said the government had agreed to release the six militants and 25 suspects in exchange for 213 hostage soldiers on Nov 4.

He said the situation was deteriorating as security forces and the militants were preparing for a confrontation.

He said that innocent people had been arrested in connection with the kidnapping of the security personnel.