Army soldiers walk past damaged houses in Loi Sam, in the Bajur tribal region in 2008. – File photo by AP
File photo from 2008 shows Pakistan Army soldiers walking past damaged houses in Loi Sam in the Bajaur tribal region.—File photo by AP

KHAR: Pakistani security officials said Friday that 15 troops were missing following fighting with militants in the country’s northwestern Bajaur tribal region three days ago.

The clashes on Tuesday came as part of a Pakistan army operation to repel Taliban militants who had crossed over from Kunar province in Afghanistan last Friday and occupied the village of Batwar in the Bajaur tribal agency.

“At least 15 of our soldiers are still missing,” a senior security official told AFP.

Another security official said “more or less” that number of soldiers were missing but declined to give the exact total.

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman for northwestern Malakand region Sirajud Din phoned AFP late Tuesday to claim that Taliban had beheaded 15 security forces personnel.