40 militants killed in Kurram Agency


At least 40 militants were killed in a fierce clash with security forces in the Manato area of Kurram Agency on Thursday, officials and tribal sources said.
Three soldiers were also injured in the clash, which saw troops backed by tanks and helicopter gunships pitted against militants armed with modern weapons.
Amidst ever-increasing woes for the internally displaced people, the authorities claimed to have gained control of Manato and several other areas of central Kurram Agency after fierce resistance from militants.
Local officials confirmed that security forces had successfully entered Manato, Panoki, Kurth and Spairkat early on Thursday morning and taken control of the area after two days of fighting. They said the security forces were now consolidating their positions.
Meanwhile, thousands of people fled from the fighting, abandoning their homes and moving towards safer areas. Officials said more than 550 families were living in the camps set up in Daranai, whereas some 5,000 families were living in schools, official buildings and with their relatives. The refugees complained of lack of proper facilities at the Daranai camp and elsewhere. Most of them are Shias and are demanding a camp in Hangu, but the administration did not permit these families to proceed to Hangu.