PESHAWAR - At least 26 persons were killed and several others injured as a result of clashes between volunteers of traditional Lashkar and Taliban miscreants at Anmbar area of Mohmand Agency. The killed included 23 Taliban miscreants and three volunteers of traditional tribal Lashkar. The clashes between volunteers of Lashkar and Taliban miscreants erupted late on Monday evening when the militants set on fire the houses of five tribesmen. In retaliation, the volunteers attacked the militants. Eight militants were killed on the spot. While later fresh squads of militants attacked the volunteers in early hours of Tuesday morning. The clashes between the volunteers and militants continued for several hours. The tribesmen informed that 15 Taliban militants were killed. Three volunteers were abducted by Taliban. Later, their bodies were recovered from an unpopulated area. Soon after the clashes, the security forces started action against the militants and their supporters in Lakaro area. So far the security forces have destroyed 20 houses owned by militants. Around 60 suspected militants were arrested. AFP adds: The deadliest clashes involved a village militia in Mohmand, officials said, reflecting the states increasing reliance on local tribesmen to battle the militants allegedly plotting attacks against targets in this region and in the West. Intelligence and security officials confirmed the death toll. Government is encouraging locals to organise lashkars against militants in several northwestern regions, as they widen the fight against extremists blamed for bomb attacks that have killed about 2,000 people in two years. Violence has flared in the tribal areas despite a two-month campaign against the Taliban in and around the northwest district of Swat. The military reported killings in Swat on Tuesday for the first time in days, saying that nine militants were shot dead in the last 24 hours. Special Correspondent from Islamabad adds: The security forces killed nine terrorists in the ongoing search and clearance operations in different areas of Swat and Malakand during last 24 hours, said an ISPR update on Tuesday. As per the update, the security forces conducted a snap operation at Syed Parinda Ziarat, near Rangeela. Around five terror suspects were arrested and four small machine guns, 11 pistols, two rifles, three grenades and a motorola set were recovered from their possession. The security forces also conducted a search operation at Kuza Banda. There an exchange of fire took place with militants. Four terrorists were killed in the incident, said the update. Moreover, an exchange of fire also took place between terrorists and the security forces at Tahirabad and Billogram. The security forces killed four terrorists in the incident. Apart from that, the security forces conducted another search operation and arrested three suspected terrorists at Kuz Bandal. The security forces also destroyed two caves and recovered a small machine gun in search operation at Bar, Kuz Drushkhela. A Jirga was held at Sakhra in which locals assured their cooperation to security forces for clearance operation, said the ISPR. The security forces also continued relief activities. Around 144,495 cash cards have been distributed amongst the IDPs of Malakand, the ISPR update further said.