LANDI KOTAL, Jan 29: At least 24 militants were killed when military planes bombed militant positions in Tirah valley on Tuesday.

Officials said the planes attacked targets in Dwa Thoe, Bara Gatt, Wocha Wona and Nakai areas where Tehrik-i-Taliban and Lashkar-i-Islam have their bases or hideouts. They said that stores of food and arms were destroyed.

A statement issued by security forces said terrorist dens were busted during the 24-hour target operation and 24 terrorists, some of them belonging to the TTP and LI, were killed.

But independent sources said that only seven militants had been killed and six others injured in the bombing. They said four houses, two of them believed to be vacant, were destroyed.

Meanwhile, Ansaar ul Islam put up stiff resistance and halted the Taliban advance towards their Bagh-Maidan headquarters.

“The entire population, including women and students of local seminaries are resisting the Taliban and assisting our armed volunteers who are in bunkers at Kala Voch, Dro Adda, Haider Kandaw and Qismat Sangar,” AI spokesman Saadat Afridi told reporters on phone.

He said that clashes were continuing at least in three areas and his fighters had effectively checked the Taliban advance.

The fighting has claimed lives of more than 50 militants on both sides in five days of clashes.

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