MINGORA, Sept 3: Thirty militants, six civilians and several security personnel were killed as security forces pounded militants’ hideouts in Kabal tehsil of Swat on Wednesday.

According to military spokesman in Swat, Maj Nasir Ali, at least 35 others were injured after security forces launched a search operation on Wednesday morning. The operation, he said, was continuing till late in the evening.

Air force planes and helicopter gunships and artillery were being used in the operation, he said. He said that militants were on the run in Koza Banda, considered to be the stronghold of elements loyal to radical cleric Mualana Fazlullah.

Residents said four women were among the six civilians killed in the shelling in Koza Banda, Dheri and adjoining areas on Tuesday night, adding that several others had been injured.

Two security personnel identified as Waseem and Shahid were killed and four others, Tariq, Sajjad, Zaffar and Mohammad Irfan, were injured in a gunbattle.

A surveillance drone was seen flying over the area on Wedensday.

An indefinite curfew has been imposed in Swat and the authorities have advised local people to leave the area for the sake of their safety.

Thousands of people have already fled to places like Bara Bandai or Kanju areas in Kabal tehsil.

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