Peshawar, Oct 25 : A total of 1,500 suspected Taliban and al Qaeda militants and 73 troops have died in operation of Pakistani security forces in the Tribal Areas bordering Afghanistan.
Inspector General of Frontier Constabulary Major-General Tariq Khan said on Saturday that Pakistan Army has captured a key militant stronghold near the Afghan border, a breakthrough in an offensive against the Taliban and al Qaeda.
Major General Tariq Khan said government forces captured Loi Sam, a strategic town in the Bajaur region, earlier this week 'and killed the militants who were hiding there.'
Khan said troops had by Saturday overrun the area and were in 'complete control' of the town. Eleven tribal militias had joined the government side in the region, he said.
Still, he forecast that it could take between six months and a year before authorities could gain complete control of Bajaur.
Khan also said a total of 1,500 suspected militants and 73 troops have died in the operation so far.
He said 42 army jawans were martyred and another 174 were injured during the operations, while the casualties among the FC were 31 martyred and 95 injured.
He also said that the operation might last six to 12 months to completely eliminate terrorists from the area, after which paramilitary forces will be deployed to ensure law and order.