KHAR, Sept 14: A number of militants were among 21 people killed in intense strafing and shelling by helicopter gunships in Bajaur Agency on Sunday.
Ground forces, meanwhile, advanced in several areas and consolidated their positions.
An official of the Frontier Corps (FC) claimed that 18 militants had been killed.
Local people said that three women had been killed and eight other people injured in the shelling.
For the first time, security forces started patrolling Lowi Jore, Tangi and Charmang areas which have so far been under militants’ control.
A curfew which has been in force in Khar tehsil for some time was relaxed in some areas and a large number of people rushed to markets in Khar when shops opened.
However, other areas remained under curfew for the ninth day.
Sources said helicopters went into action at about 7am and continued attacks till evening.
Militants’ positions in Rashakai, Gul Kass, Tan Khatta and Dheri were heavily shelled.
The political authorities clamped a curfew on Inayet Kali, the second largest town of Bajaur, for an indefinite period.