Pak security forces kill 15 Taliban militants in Mohmand

Peshawar, Jan 19 : At least 15 Taliban militants, a local commander among them, and a soldier were killed in a clash with Pakistani security forces in the Kandaro tehsil in Mohmand tribal region.

Helicopter gunships shelled suspected Taliban hideouts in Sandukhel and Mullahkhel areas of Kandaro tehsil on Saturday night, killing a number of militants, including their local commander Yaqub. Some militants were killed when a helicopter attacked their vehicle.

The clashes, which broke out late on Saturday, occurred as the forces cleared a road linking Bajaur Agency with Peshawar, the official said.

Fifteen militants were killed in a successful raid by security forces on their stronghold in Darwazgai area of Mohmand Agency, the Daily Times quoted the official, as saying.

One security forces personnel embraced martyrdom in the encounter, he said, adding that the Taliban fired mortars at the troops from their hideouts.

The Pakistani military said that more than 1,500 rebels have been killed and hundreds more captured since August, when the military launched an operation in Bajaur Agency, which borders Mohmand, to cleanse the area of the Taliban and Al Qaeda-linked terrorists.

Meanwhile, a meeting of a peace jirga from Hangu, which convened to discuss the law and order situation in the district, was postponed for Monday, officials said.

They said government offices, which were closed following sectarian clashes in the district, would reopen the same day.

The jirga&#39s meeting, which was scheduled on Sunday in the office of the Hangu district coordination officer (DCO), could not proceed due to the absence of Orakzai Agency&#39s elders.