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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

31 militants, 3 Pakistani soldiers die in clashes: Military sources

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Aug 28, IRNA -- Clashes between security forces and the Taliban militants in Pakistan’s Bajaur tribal region have left 31 militants and three soldiers dead over the past three days, military sources said.

The sources told the media that two members of the pro-government tribal volunteers were also killed during the clashes with militants in Batwar area of Bajaur Agency.

They said that five security personnel got injured. “Most of the areas have been cleared off militants. However operation is still continuing to evict remaining few from Batwar area,” the military sources added.

The sources said that the militants launched attacked on Pakistani border posts and villages from their bases on the Afghan side of the border.

Pakistan army says that several militant leaders have fled to Afghanistan following major military operations in 2008-2008 and now operate from their.

On the other hand, Pakistani Taliban said that fighting continues on its fourth day in Bajur Agency on Monday.

Taliban spokesman Ihsan-ullah-Ihsan said in a statement that scores of Pakistani soldiers were killed along with their fellow militia of the peace committee. “Eight dead bodies are in our custody including four of Army and four of Peace committee men,” Ihsan said.

He claimed that Taliban took four of army vehicles into their custody also they managed to destroy a tank of the Army.

“Just three of our fellows received injuries in this whole battle,” the Taliban spokesman said.

He claimed that Taliban have successfully gained control of Salarzai District in Bajaur and more Taliban will soon join the battle.

Another Pakistani Taliban spokesman, who was speaking to the media in Pakistan from his base in the Afghan region, has claimed that they have made advance towards Pakistani border areas and have taken control of some areas on the Pakistani side of the border.

Sirajuddin, spokesman for Taliban group led by Maulvi Fazaullah, said on phone that Pakistani Taliban have ‘repulsed attack from the Pakistani security forces and inflicted ‘heavy losses’ on them.

“We have taken control of some of Pakistani areas, seized weapons and pushed the troops and the pro-government tribal volunteers,” Sirajuddin said.

Fazlullah fled to Afghanistan in the wake of a major military offensive in Swat in 2009.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik claimed earlier this month that elements of the Afghan government are probably supporting Maulvi Fazalullah, who is believed to have established bases in Nuristan or Kunar provinces.

Clashes between the Taliban militants and Pakistani forces in Bajaur erupted as a NATO air strike in eastern Afghanistan killed Bajaur Taliban commander Mullah Dadullah and 11 of his guards late Friday.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80297572

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