LANDI KOTAL, March 14: Security forces killed at least six suspected militants and dynamited three hideouts in Sipah area of Bara tehsil, Khyber Agency, on Wednesday.

Officials said that security forces carried out a search and cordon operation in Speen Qamar, Yousuf Talab, Jansi, Mandai Kas and Dawra localities of Sipah on Wednesday. They said that the operation started in the morning and continued till late in the evening.

They said that during a raid on a house, six suspected militants, including an Afghan national, were killed. The forces also destroyed three hideouts of militants and blew up the houses of five local militant commanders, including Nek Amal, Shah Faisal, Khalid and Sakhi. Houses of three civilians Wilayat Zakhakhel, Sardar Sipah and Kaki Jan Qamarkhel were also raised to the ground.

Local sources said that at least eight civilians, including women and children, were killed and 21 others were injured due to intense artillery firing by the security forces during the operation.

Haroon Afridi, general secretary of Khidmat-i-Khalq Committee, Sipah area, told Dawn on phone from Speen Qamar that almost all area residents were shut in their houses, as the forces had imposed an indefinite curfew in the area before the start of the operation.

Mr Afridi said that the civilians killed in the artillery firing could not be taken to the nearby graveyard and were buried inside their houses. He said that the forces did not allow the residents to take their injured to hospital for treatment or move their women and children to safer places.

SCHOOL DESTROYED: Unidentified miscreants have blown up a government high school in Akkakhel here.

Bara political tehsildar Mohammad Farooq told Dawn that militants detonated explosive material inside two rooms of government high school Mawaz Khan Kallay in Akkakhel on Wednesday morning, which damaged the rooms. Militants had targeted the same school in a similar fashion a year ago. Most schools in Bara are closed since Sept 2009 when a military operation was started.

Also, body of an unidentified tribesman was recovered in Alamgudar area on Wednesday. Reason for his killing could not be immediately known.