PESHAWAR (AFP) - The bullet-riddled bodies of 15 suspected Taliban were found Thursday in Swat, officials said, while 24 insurgents were killed in military operations in the region. Officials have previously reported 251 unexplained corpses dumped next to roads, beheaded or strung up in the Swat valley since July, raising concerns among human rights groups of extra-judicial killings. I can confirm that 15 bodies were found today and our information is that they are militants, army spokesman Major Mushtaq Khan told AFP. They might have been the victims of infighting among militant groups or killed by local people. Residents found the bodies in the rural Swat town of Mangalore, and doctor Naeemullah Khan said that 15 bodies were brought to the local health centre with all the victims apparently shot dead during the past 12 hours. The military now claims to have almost cleared the scenic valley of fighters and says the dead rebels were killed by local residents seeking revenge, but rights groups have accused the army of extra-judicial killings. The military denies any responsibility and says no orders have been issued to execute suspected militants. Despite government claims of success, clashes continue to erupt in Swat, with the military on Thursday reporting that they had killed 17 militants in search operations across the district in the past 24 hours. Security officials in the region said that three militants were killed on Thursday in strikes by fighter jets on militant hideouts near tribal North Waziristans Makeen town, with the bombardment still ongoing. Elsewhere in the region, a remote-controlled bomb exploded near a military convoy wounding one soldier, with four militants shot dead in the ensuing firefight, the official added.