ORAKZAI AGENCY - Security forces gunned down 35 militants in fresh clashes in Upper Orakzai Agency while two troops were also martyred Friday.

Security forces also advanced and took control of some areas in Upper Orakzai Agency. During their advancement in the areas under militants’ control, forces clashed with militants at Barlas area of Khadezai in Upper Orakzai Agency. Resultantly, 35 militants were killed and two security personnel also embraced Shahadat.

The martyred soldiers were identified as sepoy Wakil Ahmad and Sher Nawaz. Eleven other troops sustained injuries in the fighting.

They were identified as Asif, Tauseef, Imran, Aqil Badshah, Naveed and others. The dead bodies and the injured were airlifted and shifted to military hospital Peshawar.

Backed by tanks and artillery, the forces advanced in Barlas area of Khadezai and took control of some areas. Besides, some 13 hideouts of the militants were destroyed in the fierce clashes. The sources said that clashes continued for about eight hours. After the clashes fresh troops arrived in the area.

Meanwhile, forces carried out a search operation in Dabori, Ali Khel, Madori and Badama areas of the agency and recovered heavy cache of arms.

Agencies add: Security officials claimed the militants were killed when troops retaliated with artillery and heavy weapons after an attack on a checkpost. No independent confirmation of the death toll was possible in an area cut off to journalists and aid workers.

A group of more than 50 militants attacked the checkpost in the Khadizai area, around 75 kilometres southwest of Kalaya, which is the main town of Orakzai tribal district. “The attack came at around 1:00 am.

Khadizai is in Upper Orakzai, most of which lies in Taliban hands and is the scene of frequent clashes between security forces and militants.

Sources said security forces also launched operation in Balaras area of the Upper Orakzai. Security forces have taken control of Balaras area, political administration officials said.