Bajaur clashes claim 26 lives

16 Sep 2008

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KHAR, Sept 15: Twenty-four militants and two civilians were killed in clashes between security forces and militants in the Bajaur tribal region on Monday. Twenty-eight people were injured.

Security forces, backed by helicopter gunships and artillery, targeted militants’ positions in Lowi Sam, Tang Hatta, Rashakai, Jannat Shah, Dozakh Shah, Tandar Gat, Kerala, Baicheena, Tangai and Khazana.

Sources said that the troops faced stiff resistance from the deeply entrenched militants. The air strikes continued throughout the day.

Military officials claimed to have destroyed militants’ hideouts in Kerala, Rashakai, Tang Hatta, Jannat Shah and other areas.

The sources, however, said that security forces stationed in Lowi Sam were finding it difficult to locate militants’ positions and dislodge them from there.

Reports of pitched battles have been received from some areas.

A curfew in place was relaxed in several areas of Khar and Utmankhel tehsils from 7am to 2pm on Monday. A large number of people thronged the markets for buying essential food items.

However, in Siddiqabad, Tawheedabad, Shandi Mor, Bilalabad and some other areas, the 12-day curfew remained in force.

The local administration announced that curfew in Khar, Haji Lawang, Yousafabad, Mulla Kallay, Qazzafi, Sikandaro, Sharpana, Jarr and Munda would be relaxed from 7am to 12 noon on Tuesday.