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Six soldiers among 36 killed in Orakzai

April 04, 2010

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KALAYA, April 3 At least 30 militants and six soldiers were killed in fierce clashes in different parts of Orakzai Agency on Saturday.

Twenty-six people from both sides were injured.

Political Agent Riaz Masood said that 90 per cent area of the agency's lower sub-division had been cleared of militants and troops had secured positions.

“After clearing lower sub-division situation in adjoining Khyber, Kohat and Hangu districts would improve,” he said.

Sources said that violence intensified when security forces, backed by helicopter gunships, launched the offensive against militants.

According to official sources, over 200 militants had been killed in the two-week long clashes.

The clashed triggered massive displacement and over 1,000 families fled their homes in Chapper Mela, Meshti Shekhan and Sangra areas.

Displaced people reached Hangu district where they were being registered.

A senior official said that around 170,000 people had been displaced from the agency.

Six soldiers were killed and 10 others injured when militants attacked a checkpost in Khersha area.

Following the attack, security forces backed by helicopters, tanks and artillery launched strikes in Utmankhel, Anjani and Anerkhel areas.

Officials said that 30 militants were killed and 14 injured in the attacks.

They said six militants were also arrested.

The official claim could not be verified from independent sources.

The political agent said that troops would move against militants in the upper part of the sub-division after securing the lower region.