40 militants killed in Pakistan

April 13th, 2010 - 12:58 am ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, April 12 (DPA) Forty militants and four soldiers were killed Monday in fresh clashes in Pakistan’s tribal region as the US said the latest military offensive has displaced over 200,000 people in the area.
The clashes took place in Orakzai district where government forces have been fighting since late March against the Taliban, who had retreated in the face of an earlier operation in the neighbouring district of South Waziristan.

Asmatullah Khan, an official at the local administration, said dozens of militants attacked a security checkpoint in the Shirin Darra area with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.

Troops repulsed the attack after around two hours of shooting, and jet fighters pounded militant positions around Shirin Dara and in two other villages later on.

“According to the information we are receiving from the area, around 35 miscreants are killed while four soldiers died and seven more were injured,” said Khan, adding that the sides were still exchanging sporadic fire.

The army, backed by massive air power and long-range artillery, launched a full-scale offensive against the Taliban in South Waziristan mid-October and captured major towns before the end of the year.

The Taliban retreated to their mountains hideouts, but the militants have shown the ability to regroup and carry out systematic strikes important army positions.

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