KHYBER AGENCY - At least seven militants were killed and 10 others injured as military gunships targeted militant hideouts in Khyber tribal region's Tirrah Valley on Saturday.

Military gunships carried out airstrikes in Nari Baba, Sanda Pal areas of tehsil Bara in Khyber Agency, official and local sources said on Saturday.

The casualties, however, could not be verified by independent sources.

It merits mentioning here that fierce fighting underway in Tirah Valley for the last few days and both the forces and the militants have initiated fresh offence against one another in the area to get hold of the important posts.

Local sources said for the last couple of days, hideouts of banned organisations have continuously been targeted in airstrikes.  Khyber is one of Pakistan’s seven semi-autonomous regions governed by tribal laws and lies near the Afghan border. Tirah Valley is home to militants from the proscribed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and an allied group called Lashkar-i-Islam.

Meanwhile, Pakistan army said Saturday that so far 80 terrorists had been killed while 100 others injured during current phase of military operations Zarb-e-Azb and Khyber-2.  Director General, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Maj-Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa said seven soldiers also embraced martyrdom valiantly in the operation.

He said forces had inflicted heavy casualties on militants as the army follows up its series of aerial strikes to clear the area close to the Afghan border.

"The operation to clear areas further ahead, close to Pak-Afghan border has made steady progress and heavy losses have been incurred to terrorists," he tweeted. In Khyber Agency, terrorists were being dislodged from bases and they were fleeing across the border into Afghanistan.

The DG ISPR said that ongoing operations will continue with full force till total terrorist elimination from these areas.