5 soldiers, 30 militants killed in clashes in Pakistan

Five soldiers and thirty militants were killed in clashes in Pakistan's restive northwestern tribal belt after the military launched an operation to flush out rebels, officials said today.

The fighting erupted in Orakzai Agency when pro-Taliban fighters ambushed security forces while they were conducting a search.

At least 16 security personnel were injured in the fighting, officials were quoted as saying by TV news channels.

The officials said several militants were also injured in the fighting.
Troops launched the operation to drive militants out of the area and to take control of key mountains.

The death toll could not be independently confirmed as journalists are barred from reporting from the tribal belt.

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