Khar (Pak), Sep 21: Pakistan security forces claimed to have killed at least 16 members of the Pakistan unit of the Taliban, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), in fierce gunbattles in Bajaur Agency over the past 24 hours. Helicopter gunships and artillery were used in the fresh clashes that erupted late on Friday, Sep 19, while five fighters were killed in a gunbattle early on Saturday, Sep 20 near Shakai village, the Daily Times quoted a security official as saying.
The other deaths occurred overnight in nearby villages, he said. The casualty figure could not be independently verified. Residents said that reinforcements, including a large number of fresh troops and tanks had arrived in Bajaur. Meanwhile, according to the paper, security forces continued shelling Taliban positions in various areas of Kabal and Matta tehsils in Swat on Saturday, though there were no reports of casualties.
Locals said security forces destroyed several houses owned by Taliban in Kooza Bandai area of Kabal. Taliban blew up a health centre in Odigram area. There were no casualties.
Residents of Kabal, Matta and Khwazakhela are facing serious problems due to suspended power supply after transmission lines were damaged in the forces' shelling in Kooza Bandai.