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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

35 militants killed in clashes in Pakistani tribal region

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, March 30, IRNA -- Pakistani security forces gunned down 35 militants in fresh clashes in northwestern tribal region on Friday, local media reported.

‘Geo TV’ quoting official recourses said that security forces conducted clearance operation in Balaras and Khadezai areas of Upper Orakzai Agency where 35 militants were killed.

One security man also lost his life while four others got injured during the operation against extremists. Security forces have taken control of Balaras area.

Orakzai Agency, the lone tribal region of Pakistan which does not have borders with Afghanistan, had been once the stronghold of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP.

The security forces had established posts in different parts of Orakzai agency after expelling the militants of most of their former base. But they are still hiding in several remote and hilly areas and launch attacks on the forces.

Many TTP leaders also took shelter in Orakzai after they were expelled as the result of major offensive by Pakistani forces in South Waziristan tribal region in 2009.

The TTP started activities in parts of Orakzai agency in 2008. Orakzai had been relatively peaceful tribal region before the Taliban activities there.

Taliban have also carried out attacks on the Shiite Muslims and pro-government tribal elders in Orakzai agency and have killed hundreds of them over the past few years.

Local tribesmen have also formed ‘Lashkar’ or private militia against the Taliban who are supporting the security forces.

**1422
Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80055959



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