PESHAWAR - At least eight militants were killed after jets pounded their hideouts at Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency on Wednesday.

According to sources, jet fighter planes hit militants position at Akka Khel and Koki Khel in Tirah valley, killing at least eight militants and injuring 15 others.

They said that five militant hideouts in the area were also destroyed.

The Army has launched an offensive Khyber-1 to flush out militants from Khyber Agency. A day earlier in a similar action, security forces killed at least 11 militants in the same region. Jets heavily pounded militant positions in Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency.

Following reports that the militants fleeing North Waziristan were finding refuge in Khyber Agency, Army launched a separate operation in October naming Khyber-one. So far, more than 1,300 militants have been killed in the North Waziristan and Khyber-1 operations.

AFP adds: The military has been battling militant groups in the semi-autonomous tribal belt since 2004 after it entered the region to search for Al-Qaeda fighters who had fled across the border following the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

In June the army began an offensive against militant hideouts in the North Waziristan tribal agency after a bloody raid on Karachi Airport ended faltering peace talks between the government and the Taliban. North Waziristan is a major base for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan as well as the Haqqani network which targets US and NATO forces across the border.

The Army says it has killed more than 1,600 militants so far, with 126 soldiers losing their lives.

But the toll and identity of those killed is difficult to verify because journalists do not have regular access to the conflict zones. Rights groups say a large number of civilians are among the dead. Dozens of women and children were killed in an air strike in July, according to multiple accounts by residents, though the military described them as “35 fleeing terrorists”.