ISLAMABAD/PESHAWAR- Seven soldiers and 164 militants have been killed during the ongoing full-scale military offensive against extremists in the Swat Valley, Lower Dir and Buner during the last 24 hours, the Army said Friday, as the anti-Taliban operation in the Valley was further intensified. Helicopter gunships, fighters and troops were all involved in Swat operations on Friday, against roughly 4,000 to 5,000 militants, military officials said. Addressing a news conference, Director General ISPR Maj-Gen Athar Abbas said seven soldiers had been martyred and 12 wounded in the action. The security forces, he said, would remain in the Valley until the writ of the government was re-established and militants were eliminated. The Army is now engaged in a full-scale operation to eliminate militants, miscreants and anti-state elements, he further said. He, however, admitted that the Army was facing stiff resistance in some areas. Two training camps of militants were also destroyed, he added. Gen Abbas said militants were on the run and trying to block the exodus of civilians from the area, He said 143 militants have been killed in the past day in Swat - one of three northwest districts under an air and ground bombardment while in the neighbouring district of Buner six were killed. Security forces also attacked a compound in the Maidan area of Lower Dir district on Friday, killing 15 militants, including two of their key commanders, Abbas said, without giving further details. Efforts are still underway to count exact number of causalities, he said. The DG ISPR said that around 4,000 militants were active in Swat area and majority of the militants were from Swat but there were also some Uzbeks and Tajiks. The militants, he said had also been provided weapons but some of them were without weapons. In his opening statement, Maj-Gen Athar Abbas said the operation would continue till the objectives were achieved. Operation will continue till we get rid of the militants. We would take it to culmination with the help of the army and the people, he added. Besides Swat, he said in Lower Dir, a swift operation was launched at Lal Qila after a group of militants attacked security personnel and 15 militants were killed in encounter, including Kafayatullah, son of Sufi Muhammad on Thursday. He said one security personnel died and five miscreants were killed during operation in Khawaza Khela/Chamatlal. On Thursday, the militants attacked a police station in Matta area and during fire exchange, 13 miscreants were killed. Similarly, in Takhtaband and Qambar Top and Iqbal Advocates house, 10 militants were killed and 12 injured. He said in Khawaza Khela, militants killed the brother of UC Nazim. One security personnel was killed in a rocket attack on Circuit House Mingora. He said the resistance was dying down in Buner, however, they were holding their positions in Sultanwas and Pir Baba. DG ISPR said a preliminary operation was launched in Kalapani area where six militants have been killed and two arrested. Yet, the forces may take some time to clear the areas. These are populated areas, the militants have taken some local people as hostage and the forces are avoiding collateral damage, he said. He also mentioned Thursdays action in Lower Dir area in which ten people including Kafayatullah, son of Sufi Muhammad were killed when the security forces retaliated against a rocket attack by militants on FC post. Today, again militants hiding in a compound in Maidan Area have been attacked and 15 militants have been killed including two important commandos, he added. Athar Abbas said, miscreants continued unlawful activities even after the peace deal and enforcement of Nizam-e-Adl in Malakand and Swat areas. He said the operation would lead towards Sultanwas and Pir Baba, but they were cautious to avoid collateral damages. To another question about making 100 policemen who had been held hostage by militants at Mingora police station, he said, local commander was well aware of the situation. He (commander) is deciding on it, as regular army and FC jawans are also present there, said DG ISPR adding that the people had realized that even after accepting their demand of enforcement of Nizam-e-Adl, the miscreants continued to violate it and had indulged in unlawful activities including destroying public property, abduction, dacoities etc. Local people had demanded cessation of hostilities by miscreants. The government is speaking from high moral grounds. All measures are aimed at avoiding collateral damage, he stated. Answering a question about Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Athar Abbas said figures available with us show that so far 64,000 IDPs had got themselves registered at Mardan and Swabi camps. He declined to give timeframe of the operations saying, no timeframe could be given at this moment. It is a difficult operation; it is a counter insurgency operation. Determination and resolve is there. Military would not only clear and secure the area but also remain there until peace is restored and the civil administration takes over, normalcy returns and the writ of the government is established, he said. Responding to another question, he said, predominantly, the majority of militants and their leadership is from Swat, but some people are also from across the border. He said training camps have been hit in different areas and reports of the damage were being collected. Exact casualty figure would also be given later as the present figure was based on intelligence reports. He said one division army was already present there and some fresh reinforcement has been sent to area with the task to clear the area of miscreants and restore the civil administration. About the US response to Pakistans request for the provision of modern equipment, Athar Abbas said, these equipments could enhance capability and efficiency of the forces. We would like to have such equipment to save the lives of our jawans and suffer minimum losses. He said the security forces at Afghan borders were alert and vigilant to intercept any support coming from across the border. The roads and other pathways within Swat are also being fully guarded to intercept supply of arms and ammunition to militants, he added. Athar Abbas said solid evidence about across-the-border involvement has been provided to respective governments by the Pakistan government. To a question about funding of the militants, Athar Abbas said, Major source of funding is drugs. According to estimates of 2007, these militants were getting ten per cent of the total drugs smuggling money worth $4 billions. Kidnapping for ransom, a lot of charity money and availability of funds by hostile intelligence agencies are in addition, he said, adding, From this, you can assess how much funding was available to them. He said at present, 12,000 to 15,000 security personnel were engaged in operation. Forces are also present in other areas to meet any backlash of this operation, he said. The main mission of the forces is to expel and eliminate militants, he said. He said that the reconciliatory efforts did not work due to high handedness and militancy approach. By now, the operation goes on and what should be the next, the government will decide, he said. To a question about setting up of training camps by militants despite the presence of security forces, he said, these camps were established when the military had suspended the operation. He said the Air Force only struck the training camps in the mountainous areas and not in plains only to avoid collateral damage. He avoided going into details of the operation as he stated it could benefit others. He said that militants had planted improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Mingora, sometimes they used pressure cookers to inflict damage on the security forces, adding such devices are planted somewhere and are detonated with remote control. Answering yet another question, he said the operation has started keeping in view the national interest. There may be some effects, for which we have already prepared contingency plan. By now, the forces have been given mandate of clearing the Swat Valley from the militants. Meanwhile Amidst continued shelling and bombing, the high-ups of security forces showered pamphlets through helicopters in Mingora city and its surrounding areas on Friday. Through these pamphlets, the government held Taliban militants responsible for the existing crisis as they refused to lay down arms after signing of the peace agreement. Taliban militants had also expanded their network to Buner and Dir, and besides occupying government offices and houses, they indulged in looting and plundering. On account of all this the government was left with no other option but to act against these militants. Akbar Ali a commander of the militant was also amongst the killed persons. He along with four others was killed when the security forces repulsed an attack against a camp at Saidu Sharif Airport. The officials said that 10 militants were killed at Kabal, 14 at Mangal Than Charbagh, 15 at Dheedhara Delay Middle School, and nine at Shahdheri. The militants also attacked Police Station Mingora, Police Lines Saidu Sharif and several other government installations. The security forces camping in these installations repulsed the attacks. Taliban militants also looted and plundered the commercial banks in Mingora and Saidu Sharif along with shops and houses. The militants involved in loot and plunder included foreigners, mostly from Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics. Two civilians were killed and 10 others injured as a result of shelling over residential areas in Mingora city. The injured people were without first aid and other proper medical care due to closure of hospitals and clinics in the city. At Buner, the officials said that security forces made further advance towards strongholds of militants. However, the number of civilian casualties reportedly was five and one person was brutally assassinated by Taliban militants. The assassinated person was identified as Habib Khan brother of Sabir Khan, an Engineer in Radio Pakistan and activist of Jamaat-e-Islami in village Elai of Buner District. Three persons of a family including two women were killed when they came under the firing of security forces at Qadar Nagar. The victims belonged to village Battai. One person was killed at Bhayee Keley and one at Nawagai. On the other hand, the authorities Friday claimed killing 80 militants during military action in Lower Dir District. The killed persons included six top commanders like Zia Ur Rehman, Attique Ur Rehman, Said Ayub and Sher Jan. Amongst them 37 were killed when the gunship helicopters targeted the house of Sher Jan where 73 including 6 commanders were present. However, the media quoting Mullah Mansoor, a spokesman of Taliban, has contradicted the official claims. At Dir, Taliban militants blew up a Police Station at Oach town of Lower Dir District. All roads were closed for traffic and curfew was imposed in all villages and towns of Dir. In Swat, authorities slapped an indefinite curfew in a key area through which extra troops were to travel to the northwest region. But even as the helicopter gunships and jets blasted their targets, ground forces came under intense fire from militants, mostly young men who are highly motivated ideologically and frequently better paid than soldiers. Meanwhile, three persons of a family were killed when their house was hit by mortar shell in Afghan refugees camp at Gamkhol Sharif near Kohat. The security forces from Kohat were targeting the hideouts of the militants in Dara Adam Khel. Our Monitoring Desk adds: Talking to BBC, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Maulvi Omar dismissed Pakistan Armys claims regarding killing of more than 170 Taliban during the operation, adding that the government was making false claims to please the US. The Army was just resorting to aerial bombardment and it had no control on ground, he said. The TTP spokesman claimed no Taliban had lost life during the on-going military operation, however only civilians had been killed in the fighting. Forces also pounded two militant strongholds in Tehsil Kabal.