Pakistani security forces backed by helicopter gunships and jets killed 54 alleged militants in a much-contested region near the Afghan border, a government official said today. Three troops also died in the clashes. Pakistani troops were doing routine patrolling in the Mohmand tribal region when they came under attack, according to a deputy administrator in the region. The troops returned fire and killed 10 insurgents, but also called for backup in the air.
The army sent helicopters and jets to target militant positions, killing 44 more insurgents and wounding several others, the official said. He noted that two or three civilians died when a mortar shell hit a home in the region, but he would not speculate which side fired the shell. Today also saw a roadside bomb explode in Peshawar, wounding a local police officer, and the killings of three men in North Waziristan. The Taliban left notes on their bullet-riddled corpses accusing them of being US spies. (Read more Pakistan stories.)