UPPER DIR Security forces claimed of killing 26 Afghan militants in Upper Dir on Saturday, the fourth day of fighting, close to the border with Afghanistan. Police officer Bahadur Khan said the insurgents crossed over into Upper Dir from Afghanistans Kunar province and opened fire on the troops, who returned fire and killing 26 of them while the security forces suffered no casualties. It was not possible to independently verify his account. Earlier, 80 people were reported to have been killed in the fight that has been on with intervals since Wednesday. The Nation learnt that so far 28 personnel of security forces and eight citizens in the area lost their lives as against the killing of 48 militants that intruded into Upper Dir from the neighbouring Afghanistan. The areas facing encounters between militants and security forces personnel included Nusrat Darra, Shakeez Darra, Khara and Sonai and more casualties were feared as a result of fresh encounters, however, government officials so far did not confirm any report in this regard. The areas of Brawal, Guli Bagh, Khara and Alokas were still under curfew and the security forces during their reprisal pushed back militants from Shahteer area and got full control of the locality after taking back Shaltalu check post control from militants. Along with personnel of Pak Army, Frontier Corps and Levies personnel, local Lashkhar and police are taking part in the operation against the intruding militants. Heavy artillery was used against suspected hideouts of the militants along with use of gunship helicopters in the operation. The clashes forced many residents to flee. Although militants often target security forces, they have rarely launched such attacks from Afghanistan. Pakistan shares a long, porous border with Afghanistan and it has asked Kabul to take steps to stop any such future attacks from there. On Friday, hundreds of Afghan militants attacked the border areas of Upper Dir by opening indiscriminate fire at the residents, besides setting ablaze a government school. Afghan militants equipped with sophisticated arms besieged border areas of district Upper Dir. On Wednesday, militants raided Shaltalu checkpost. While in the fresh assault, they attacked Nusrat Darra by opening indiscriminate fire at the local population. Nusrat Darra is 10 kilometres from Shaltalu area. Official sources said again it were Afghan militants who re-attacked the border area, adding that they were hundreds in number and were well-equipped. They said the militants besieged the area and also torched a government primary school. After the attack, reinforcements and helicopter gunships had been moved into the Nusrat Darra to quell the attack. They shelled militant positions. Resultantly, five militants were killed and several other sustained injuries. As a result of attacks and gunbattle, government-run schools were closed down at Shahi Kot, Bansahi and other adjacent areas.