SWAT - At least 60 people, including 16 militants and one soldier, were killed and 25 others injured in the fresh clashes between security forces and militants in different areas of the Swat Valley on Sunday.
According to an ISPR spokesman, as many as 16 militants have been killed and several others injured in the ongoing operation in the region. He also added that the security forces have taken control of various parts of Swat, including Charbagh, a stronghold of the militants.
According to details, a mortar shell fired by the security forces hit a house of Rasool Khan in Charbagh, leaving eight inmates, including four women and two children, dead.
Apart from that, another five people, including a woman, were killed and 10 others injured when mortar shells hit various other houses in different areas of Charbagh. In addition to that, a police constable was also gunned down in Rahimabad by some unknown armed men.
Meanwhile, eight dead bodies were found from different localities of Swat. However, the dead bodies have not been handed over to their relatives because of curfew in the areas.
Some unknown men also shot dead two persons, identified as Nasir and Riaz, on the spot.
Moreover, two personnel of the Edhi Foundation were killed in Charbagh when the security forces fired at an ambulance. The Edhi Foundation personnel were busy shifting the dead and the injured from Charbagh to nearby hospitals.
Around 25 persons were injured in the shelling of the security forces in the ongoing operation in different parts of Swat District.
But there were conflicting reports about the exact number of deaths occurred in clashes between the security forces and the militants.
Agencies add: One soldier died and two others were injured during gunfights with militants over the 24-hour period in the town of Charbagh, the military said in a statement.
The shelling by forces in Charbagh on Saturday night, according to local residents, hit several houses.
"At least 16 militants were killed and many injured, in an exchange of fire with security forces near Derai, Aligrama and Charbagh in the last twenty-four hours," the statement said.
Government forces consolidated their hold over Charbagh, "considered to be a stronghold of the hardened militants," said the military statement, adding that five suspected militants were also arrested during a "search operation" in the area.
The CNN quoted an Army official as saying that at least 43 civilians were killed Sunday when they were caught in the crossfire between security forces and Taliban militants.
The official, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the media, said the incident happened in Charbagh.
According to Swat Media Centre, one security man was martyred and two others injured in an exchange of fire with militants in Ali Garam area.
Moreover, the security forces have called upon the masses that they should join hands with them in order to wipe out the menace of militancy and put the valley on the path of progress, development and prosperity.
The elders of the area have been asked to extend their cooperation to security forces for restoring peace in Swat.
The military said Sunday it escalated its offensive against the militants in the one-time tourist haven.