PESHAWAR - Amidst fierce clashes and shelling by gunship helicopters in the scattered parts of the restive Swat Valley, over 55 more Taliban were killed and several others injured in the ongoing military operation on Saturday, with the Army saying the full-scale offensive has put militants on the back foot. Sources confided to The Nation that security forces continued to pound suspected hideouts of the militants in Gut, Namal, Fewchar, Charbag, Qamber and Kabal areas. Besides collateral damages, more than 15 militants were killed in various parts of Mingora. Four dead bodies of the militants were also recovered in green Chawak area, which was the stronghold of Taliban and was one of the notorious slaughter centres. Security forces also claimed destruction of training camps in Fewchar, which has been one of the strongholds of the militants in Swat since 2007. Forces also claimed killing of some key commanders in Fewchar, however their exact number could not be ascertained. Likewise, security forces also intensified their operation in Dir and around 17 people, including a prominent commander, were killed in Haya Serari area of Maidan. The security forces occupied important locations so as to restore writ of the government, Up to 19 militants were left dead in various other areas of the Valley as several of their hideouts were targeted and their main headquarters destroyed, the Army said. Meanwhile, thousands of families in Bahrain, Madyan and Sheen Kalay have shifted to comparatively safer places and most of the people along with their cattle were stranded at various routes due to fear of operation. Similarly, security forces also targeted militants positions in Pir Baba, Sultanwas area, however no casualties were reported till the filing of this report. Besides water shortage people are facing severe scarcity of food and edibles in Dir and other parts of Malakand Division. Agencies add: according to ISPR four soldiers were also injured in the Swat fighting. Warplanes pounded rebel hideouts in the Valley, where up to 15,000 security forces have been deployed under orders to crush extremists in an escalating conflict that has displaced hundreds of thousands. Militants fired rockets at an army base in Mingora. They are on the run, the Army said in an earlier statement. The statement added that Taliban fighters were trying to block the exodus of innocent civilians by preventing their departure through coercion, IEDs (improvised explosive devices), roadblocks with trees and even (making them) hostages. Suspected locations of militants were engaged at Rama Kandhao ridge in Matta and main headquarters of militant in Loenamal, Matta has been completely destroyed. Militant hideouts were also engaged in Banababa, Ziarat, Mushkomai and Chamtalai areas in Khawzakhela. ISPR said indiscriminate mortar firing by the militants in the populated areas of Mingora resulted into civilian casualties. Large number of militants were killed including hardcore elements and many militants injured. The operation is in full swing, the official said. The Army said in a statement hat indiscriminate mortar fire by militants in the populated areas of Mingora resulted in civilian casualties. Militants are using houses of civilians as bunkers for engaging security forces, the military said, adding that insurgents were harassing the civil population and were intensely involved in looting and arson in Mingora. Moreover, the militants are using houses of civilians as bunkers for engaging security forces. Two soldiers at Circuit House were also injured. There are also reports that the criminals who had sided with hardcore militants, are now fleeing from the area. In ransacking activities, the militants damaged Government Girls Primary School at Kanju and damaged and looted Muslim Commercial Bank main branch at Mingora Bazar. In Gulabad, operation commenced last night at 2100 hours and successfully cleared area up to Chakdara by 0530 hours in the morning. Ridges on the outskirts of Gulabad have been secured, the ISPR said. In Shangla, security forces attacked militant hideouts in Loe Sar and secured two dominating mountain heights known as Point 2245 and point 2266. Militants suffered heavy casualties while two soldiers were injured in the operation. Operation in this area as well as in Buner area of Sultanwas is progressing smoothly, the ISPR added. Meanwhile, fresh troops were entering the Malakand district which neighbours Swat Valley, a local military official told AFP. People fleeing the area, however, have accused the military of also killing civilians in the fierce bombardment. Aftaba Begum, 60, told AFP in Jalala refugee camp near the town of Mardan that she had fractured her leg as shells from helicopter gunships hit Mingora three days ago. Meanwhile, curfew prevented residents from fleeing the fighting. We are feeling so helpless, we want to go but cant as there is a curfew, said Sallahudin Khan by telephone from Mingora. Swat administrator Khushal Khan told Reuters the curfew would remain in force throughout the day. Meanwhile, 18 militants were killed in a gunfight following an attack on a military convoy in Spin area, 30km northeast of Wana, headquarters of South Waziristan Agency, officials said. According to ISPR, exchange of fire took place when Taliban attacked the security forces convoy. One militant was also captured. One soldier embraced martyrdom while two others received wounds during the exchange of fire. An official told AFP, Four civilian caught in the crossfire were also killed. Local administration officials confirmed the incident.