Over 50 killed in clashes between Pak soldiers and militants

At least 51 militants and four soldiers have died in Pakistan's restive northwest after security forces backed by combat jets launched a major offensive a week back, officials said today.

A total of 26 militants were killed and 15 more injured when combat jets bombarded rebel hideouts in the Orakzai and Kurram tribal regions today.

Seven hideouts were destroyed in the air strikes, officials said.

At least 25 militants and four security personnel have died in clashes in the Bara region of Khyber Agency since March 12, officials said.

A dozen security personnel were injured in the fighting.

Troops are currently conducting operations against the banned Lashkar-e-Islam in Khyber Agency.
Officials denied reports that some militants were killed in custody in Bara following the recovery of 14 bullet-riddled and mutilated bodies in the region.

The casualties in the fighting could not be independently confirmed as journalists are barred from reporting from the tribal belt.

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