Pakistan says 16 militants killed

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Pakistani security forces and a tribal army killed 16 militants in separate clashes in the tribal Bajaur region, witnesses and sources said.

The gun battle between the militants and fighters from the Oriazai clan occurred Sunday in the in Gutkai and Bandarae areas of the troubled northwest tribal region, Dawn reported. The report, quoting local sources, said 10 militants and two tribal elders died in the attack.


A Taliban spokesman, however, was quoted as claiming there were no casualties among his group and that his fighters captured 25 members of the tribal army. He was quoted as saying the fighting started after a meeting with the tribal elders, when the militants had agreed to leave the area but the tribal army took action against Taliban supporters, Dawn said.

Also on Sunday, Pakistani security forces backed by artillery and helicopter gun ships attacked suspected militant positions in Mamond and Nawagai districts of Bajaur, the report said. At least six militants were killed in helicopter attacks while two civilians died when a mortar shell hit a vehicle.

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