KHYBER AGENCY - In order to wipe out militants, a large-scale military operation has been launched in all the disturbed areas of Bara tehsil in Khyber Agency, official and local sources said on Friday. However, on the directives of the authorities concerned, massive shifting of hundreds of local families to safer places also started. The sources said that Thursday evening hundreds of troops, equipped with heavy arms and backed by tanks and other armoured vehicles, entered the areas including Malikdin Khel, Manday Kas, Yousaf Talab, Jansi Thoy and Siph for a major operation against the militants. Earlier, notices were issued to all residents of these areas to vacate their houses till 3pm (Friday). The forces also warned that violators of the order will be shot on the spot and those who refuse to leave their residences will be responsible for their own loss, the sources said. Locals said that till expiring the deadline around 500 families had evacuated their houses and shifted to safer places like Peshawar. The political administration of Bara provided transportation facilities to shift the tribesmen to safer places; however, a huge portion of population felt distressed over the decision of their displacement and refused to leave their houses, locals said. They were of the view that due to poor economic conditions they could not afford rented houses in other areas, adding that the government should provide them an alternative accommodation. Tehrik-e-Insaf Khyber Agency Chapter has set up an emergency camp at Badber, Peshawar, to facilitate the recently displaced tribesmen, the sources said. Agencies add: Thousands of villagers fled their homes in Khyber Agency on Friday as troops advanced to attack a militant group that has disrupted the main trade route to Afghanistan. A day earlier, militants ambushed troops from the Armys paramilitary Frontier Corps, triggering a battle in which 34 militants and three soldiers died. The villages, which officials say have about 3,000 residents, are eight kilometers southwest of Peshawar. The fighting is the latest eruption of a seven-year-old rebellion led by a local man, Mangal Bagh, whose Lashkar-e-Islam guerrillas are loosely allied with Pakistans Taliban movement. According to security forces, 13 personnel lost their lives in two days when they were ambushed by the militants. Therefore, a decision had been made to conduct an operation against militants. Curfew has been clamped in Bara as the authorities asked the residents to shift to safer places to avoid any damage to the civilian community.