PESHAWAR (AFP/Reuters) - Airstrikes killed 19 suspected militants Sunday, police and security officials said, in an ongoing bombardment aimed at shattering Taliban strongholds across the tribal northwest, as militants distributed leaflets warning tribesmen not to rise up against them. Military and government officials claim to have almost cleared the Swat Valley of insurgents and are now targeting the tribal region bordering Afghanistan, but fresh shelling erupted on Sunday just north of Swats main town Mingora. Gunship helicopters shelled militant hideouts at Mangaltan area of Charbagh town. At least ten militants were killed in the shelling, Maj Nasir Khan, a military spokesman in Mingora, told AFP by telephone. Maj Nasir said the air attacks were called in after fresh reports of militant movement in the area. An intelligence official in Mingora confirmed the strikes and the death toll. Security forces have vowed to follow up the Swat campaign with an offensive against Taliban warlord Baitullah Mehsud and his network in the lawless tribal belt, where Washington alleges Al-Qaeda fighters are also hiding out. At least six alleged rebels linked to the Taliban were killed Sunday in the tribal North Waziristan region near the Afghan border. Six or seven militants were killed and four were injured when jet fighters bombed Taliban hideouts in different parts of Datta Khel, Aziz Khan, a tribal police official, told AFP by telephone. The airstrikes Sunday morning hit the Bagan, Mohammad Khel and Syed Abad areas, about 20km west of Miranshah, the main district town in the semi-autonomous mountain region bordering Afghanistan. Residents said they saw six dead bodies, but added that civilians were also hurt. We were in our houses when warplanes bombed the area, local resident Mahmood Gul told AFP from Miranshahs main hospital, where he had taken his young son for treatment for shrapnel wounds. It was a surprise attack. Fighter jets came, circled around a few times, pounded the militants and flew away. I saw five bodies of militants, Mohammad Khan, a shopkeeper in the area, told Reuters by telephone. He said the casualties could be higher, as two seminaries used by militants as hideouts were completely destroyed in the bombing. In the Orakzai region on Sunday, gunship helicopters shelled militant positions in two areas. At least three militants were killed and many injured in the shelling, a military official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. The bombardment hit close to the site of a military helicopter crash Friday which killed 26 security personnel. Earlier, allies of Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud tossed leaflets, or so-called night-letters, into the main market of Miranshah, warning tribesmen not to form committees to fight against them. There is a ban on holding any sort of jirga (tribal council), the leaflet read. If any clan or village creates any sort of committee for peace, then its leaders will be killed. There will be no reluctance to launch suicide attacks. Bolstered by the governments gains against militants, tribal leaders in the northwest have recently begun to form lashkar, or militias, to fight against the Taliban. Meanwhile, a close aide of Taliban commander Maulana Fazlullah was killed in a Swat operation, army said on Sunday. Army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told AFP on Sunday that the military had killed Abu Jandal, a commander loyal to Fazlullah, on the outskirts of Swats main town Mingora. Ehsan, alias Abu Jandal, was killed two days earlier in Qambar area. He was a mid-level commander, said Abbas. Security sources in the area confirmed the death, and said Jandal was a close aide of the firebrand cleric. Monitoring desk adds: The security forces faced tough resistance from the extremists for last several days in Qambar. However, the troops bombarded the area, killing Abu Jandal. Abu Jandal was buried at Mian Baba graveyard in a suburban area of Mingora.