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13 killed in copter attacks

June 20, 2012

LANDI KOTAL, June 20: Thirteen militants were killed and several others injured when helicopter gunships bombed Taliban positions in Tirah valley of Khyber Agency on Wednesday.

According to security sources, the helicopters destroyed five Taliban hideouts in Dwa Thoe and a local militant ‘commander’ was among those killed.

The sorties were the first after Taliban took control of most parts of the Kukikhel-inhabited areas of Tirah.

Independent sources, however, did not confirm the claim about the number of militants killed. Meanwhile, more Kukikhel families moved out of Toor Darra after Taliban of Tariq Afridi group took control of the area.

The families crossed over to Afghanistan and reached Jamrud through the Torkham border after walking for three days from Tirah via Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

All the routes to Jamrud from Tirah are either under the control of Taliban or activists of the Lashkar-i-Islam.

In Bazaar Zakhakhel, an activist of the Tawheedul Islam group was critically injured when explosives stored in the home of his commander Mehmud went off.