—File Photo

KHYBER AGENCY: Ten militants were killed and six injured Thursday as gunship helicopters and jet fighters pounded militant hideouts in the remote Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency’s Bara Tehsil, security officials said.

The officials said that security forces had also destroyed the house of a militant commander while a mortar shell hitting a house injured eight civilians also in Bara.

Sources added that gunship helicopters struck miscreants in Sairi village of Tirah, destroying four of their bases and killing ten militants. Six were also said to be injured.

The security forces claims, however, could not be verified form an independent source, the area being inaccessible to reporters because of a lack of telecommunication links

Meanwhile, security forces also blew up the house of a militant commander known as Javed belonging to the outlawed Lashkar-i-Islam in the Nala Kajori area of Bara.

In another incident a mortar shell hit a house in Malakdin Khel area of Bara, injuring eight members of a family. It was unclear whether the shell was fired by militants or security forces.

Khyber is one of Pakistan’s seven tribal districts near the Afghan border which are rife with homegrown insurgents and are alleged to be strongholds of Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives.