KHYBER AGENCY - At least 38 militants and three volunteers of peace militia were killed and several others injured in fierce clashes in Khyber Agency’s Tirah Valley on Saturday.

Official and local sources said that fierce fighting broke out between Kukikhel Peace Militia and militants on Saturday in Dwa Toai area of tehsil Jamrud in Tirah Valley and both groups targeted each other’s positions with heavy weapons. Thirteen militants and three volunteers of peace militia were killed and scores of them were injured, sources said. Twelve militants were captured and their three hideouts were also destroyed, sources added.

The peace militias of local tribesmen have been organised with intention to curb the activities of militants and to expel them from their respective areas. The arms battles among the militant groups in Tirah have caused heavy loss of lives to the dwellers of the area increasing their miseries, locals lamented.

Agencies add: The security forces conducted search operations in different areas of Khyber Agency including Tirah Valley. The militants present in different areas of the troubled agency offered resistance and attacked security forces.

As the security forces retaliated, more than two dozen militants were killed and scores of others sustained injuries.

It merits mentioning here that security forces operation against anti-state militants including Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Khyber Agency has been underway since 2008.

During clashes and security forces bombing, hundreds of militants have been killed while dozens of security forces personnel have also embraced martyrdom.

Overall, more than 35,000 people, including military personnel have lost their lives during the war against terrorism in the country.