Pak Army kills 16 Taliban militants in Orakzai Agency

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Peshawar, July 23(ANI): At least 16 militants were killed and several others wounded during the Pakistan security forces' offensive in the Orakzai Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

According to reports, the forces gunship helicopters pounded militants' hideouts in Ghandki and Mullapati areas in upper Orakzai destroying four hideouts.

The killed militants included local militant commander Suleman Mehsood, The News reports.

It worth mentioning here that earlier last month the Pakistan Army had declared that the offensive in the region had been successful with militants rooted out of the area.

However, clashes with extremists have continued unabated raising doubts over the army's claims.

Even the local residents and officials have said that more than half of the region is still under the Taliban's control.

Locals said that the battle is far from over, as extremists are still holding a large part of the agency.

"The military has cleared only Lower Orakzai, while the situation in upper and central Orakzai has not changed much, as the army is yet to evict the Taliban from these areas. The battle is far from over," local residents of Lower Orakzai said.

"In Upper Orakzai, security forces took control of Daburi, while Mamozai, Ghaljo and Shahoo areas are still in Taliban control," they added.

Local officials also said Uzbek and other terrorists belonging to the "Lal Masjid group" and the Taliban from Swat, Bajaur and Waziristan were putting up stiff resistance in Upper Orakzai. (ANI)

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