KHYBER AGENCY/RAWALPINDI - Pakistan Army, achieving significant success in the ongoing Khyber-I operation in Tirah Valley, captured Masatul Pass linking Khyber Agency with Afghanistan and killed at least 15 militants in the airstrikes by fighter jets.

According to ISPR, Pakistan military had also dislodged terrorists from Sokh which is the central area of operation.

Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa said Monday that significant goals were achieved by airstrikes Sunday night targeting terrorists in the area close to Afghan border.

He said Masatul Pass linking Khyber-Afghanistan, used by terrorists for movement to Afghanistan had been seized by forces. “Now they are tightening noose against terrorists,” he said.

“Terrorists suffered serious setback with large casualties. Our forces are consolidating their gains,” the ISPR added.

Meanwhile, at least 15 terrorists, including Al-Qaeda commander Umar Farooq, were killed during security forces operation in Khyber Agency 's Tirah Valley on early Monday morning.

Sources said some key TTP figures including Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah were also among killed, but there was no official confirmation.

As unconfirmed reports of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Mullah Fazlullah's death circulated in the media early Monday, spokesmen for different Taliban groups denied that Pakistan's most wanted terrorist was killed in an operation by the military.

TTP spokesman Mohammad Khorasani claimed that reports regarding Fazlullah's death were "absolutely baseless rumors".

A spokesman for Taliban splinter group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar also denied the report.

Military and independent sources also declined to confirm reports of the TTP chief's death in Tirah Valley offensive.

News of the latest offensive was followed by widespread speculation about the presence of Fazlullah in the area at the time of the strikes.

The military has been engaged in a full-scale offensive against Taliban and other militants in North Waziristan and Khyber tribal districts along the Afghan border since last year.

Sources said that for the last couple of days, the hideouts of banned organisations have continuously been targeted by the security forces. Tirah Valley is home to militants of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and an allied group called Lashkar-e-Islam.