— File Photo by AP

LANDI KOTAL: Ten militants were killed when helicopter gunships targeted their hideouts in Bara area of Khyber Agency on Monday, official sources said.

The air strikes were carried out in Nala Malikdinkhel where a large number of militants were holed up, the sources said. The militants had fled the Akkakhel area a week ago and moved to Nala Malikdinkhel. Three hideouts were destroyed in the strikes.

The sources said that bodies of six militants were found from Nala Khwarh.

However, local people said that only one suspected militant, Saidullah Kamarkhel, was killed in the helicopter attack. They said most of the militants had left the area much before the air strikes were conducted.

Three soldiers were killed when militants attacked their convoy in Nala area.

No official details were available about the assault.

The militants, however, claimed to be in possession of the soldiers’ bodies.

Soon after the attack, Shalobar, Qambarkhel and parts of Malikdinkhel were placed under curfew.A search operation was conducted and artillery targeted militant positions in Shalobar, Arjali Nafi and Malikdinkhel.

Three people were injured when a mortar shell landed in a house in Mandi Kas area. The house belongs to Sial Khan alias Sailak.

Troops demolished houses of three militant ‘commanders’ Rakhman Shah, Ayub and Gulabat Khan in Shalobar area. They were believed to be associated with Lashkar-i-Islam and hiding since a military operation started in the area in Sept 2009.

It is learnt that dozens of families who had come to Shalobar and adjoining areas from different towns to celebrate Eid with their relatives are now stranded there due to the curfew and intense artillery shelling.

Meanwhile, eight militants were killed and a security official was injured in a clash in Mamozai area in upper Orakzai on Monday. Officials said the militants attacked a patrol wounding a soldier.

In retaliatory fire by the troops, eight militants were killed.

The bullet-riddled body of a security official was found in the Sheikhan area.

Troops took the body to the Orakzai Agency headquarters Kalaya.

The militants kidnapped four tribesmen in Sheikhan area, identified as Feroz, Shah Hasan, Dilawar and Ahmad.