Tirah valley clashesAccording to Pakistani military officials, at least 30 Pakistani security forces and 97 militants have been killed as the battle for key heights in

Tirah valley intensified on Monday with Jet fighters and gunship helicopters pounded militant positions.

The officials further added that ground troops backed by artillery and mortar fire started advancing on militant hideouts, killing of scores of militants.

Reports also suggest that death toll on both sides is very high although the exact number of casualties in the clashes are unknown. The exact death toll could not be verified from independent sources. The media have had to rely mostly on local sources, military and claims made by the militants.

Pakistani security forces are taking on Lashkar-i-Islam (LI) militants in Akakhel area with fierce battle going on in Maidan, Akakhel and Bagh areas since Friday.

Security sources quoted by Pakistan’s Dawn News said, “The militants have been putting up a stiff resistance in the last two days, ever since the offensive was launched on Friday.”

In the meatime Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan confirmed the ongoing clashes between Pakistani security forces and Lashkar-i-Islam (LI) militants however he said Taliban militants are not involved at the moment. However he did say that the TTP would support the LI when needed.

Mr. Ehsan also added that five LI activists, including a key commander, had reportedly been killed.