PESHAWAR: At least 13 suspected militants were killed early Saturday when military jets pounded militant hideouts in the northwestern tribal region of upper Orakzai agency, security officials said.

Local administration official Noman Ali Shah confirmed that the militants’ hideouts in Mamozai had been targeted by military jets Saturday morning and there were reports of casualties.

“We have reports coming in from security sources that four militant’ hideouts have been destroyed in Mamozai area of upper Orakzai, while at least 13 militants have been killed in these strikes,” he said.

Mamozai is located in the rugged mountainous region on the boundaries of Tirah Valley, a stronghold of the Hakimullah Mehsud-led TTP with support from the surrounding villages of Khadezai, Arkhanjo and the suburbs.

Although security forces claimed to have cleared almost 92 per cent of the area of militants, there are still some pockets of resistance in the upper Orakzai Agency along the border of Khyber and Kurram agencies.

Fresh clashes between militants in Tirah

Meanwhile, eight militants were reported to have been killed and several others injured in fresh clashes between the pro-government Ansarul Islam (AI) and outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP) militants backed by Lashkar-i-Islam (LI) militant outfit in Tirah Valley of Khyber agency.

After a furious gun-battle for the day, the Ansarul Islam fighters have recaptured a key Khyber Sangar post in Tirah Valley which overlooks the key Maidan area, the stronghold of the AI.

This post was captured by the TTP fighters a few days back. The clashes are now continuing in the Qismat Sangar area of the Tirah valley.

The clashes, which had started last month between the outlawed extremist groups, subsided for a few days as scores of fighters were killed on both sides and many others were wounded.

Gun fights erupted again Saturday morning in Tirah’s Sandapal area, leaving eight militants dead, intelligence officials said.

Intelligence sources said that the LI and TTP militants were launching joint attacks on the AI fighters.

The political administration has yet to disclose the exact number of casualties while reporters have limited access to the restive mountainous area to independently verify the death toll.

Meanwhile, in a separate development a clash between the Zakakhel tribesmen and the banned Lasakar-i-Islam at Mirozai Sar Post, seven LI militants are killed including two key commanders as the Zakakhels also overtook the post.

The official sources said that the clashes are still continuing at Delani post, wherein two Zakakhel tribesmen have also been injured.

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