Army kills seven 'Taliban' in northwest Pakistan

KARACHI - Seven suspected Taliban were killed in an alleged clash with Pakistan army in northwestern Mohmand Agency tribal area Saturday, the military said.

Pakistan army's media wing, Inter Services Public Relations, said the clash followed an alleged Taliban ambush during a search operation in the area.

The local media had earlier reported that seven bullet-riddled bodies were found in the area; however, later the Pakistan military declared that the seven were killed in a clash and their bodies were handed over to the local administration.

Mohmand Agency, one of the seven semi-autonomous tribal areas of Pakistan, is considered one of the nerve centers of the Pakistani Taliban.

According to Pakistani intelligence agencies, militants were fleeing to other tribal regions, including Mohmand Agency because of the ongoing military operations in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency.

According to the army, the fresh casualties have put the militants' death toll at over 2,000 since June 15. Around 200 soldiers were also reported killed in clashes and landmine blasts in the ongoing operation. However, there was no way to independently verify the figures since media is not allowed access to the areas.

The military operations have forced an estimated 1.5 million tribesmen from North Waziristan, and Khyber Agency to adjacent Peshawar, Bannu, Karak, and Lakki Marwat districts.

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