Bajaur counterattack

Also on Sunday, fighters linked to the Taliban and al-Qaeda counterattacked Pakistani security forces aiming to regain control of the country's northwestern regions, an official has said.

Iqbal Khattak, a government official in the tense Bajaur region, said opposition fighters had attacked three military camps near the town of Khar.

He said that Pakistani troops killed 11 fighters and wounded dozens more, but would not give any information of casualties on the government side.

Pakistani forces have battling fighters linked to al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Bajaur for the last two  two months.

While the government says that more than 1,000 opposition fighters have been killed, the fighters are still mounting an effective resistance.

The Bajaur military operation comes after Islamabad was put under pressure by the US to take control of Pakistan’s border regions with Afghanistan.

US officials say that the Bajaur crackdown appears to have reduced violence in Afghanistan, although US forces appear to have continued military operations in Pakistan without the permission of the country's government.