Local residents said that four civilians, including three women, had also been killed in the fighting, but there was no independent confirmation of this.
“Pakistan needs a military leader who can control both civil and possible military extremism”
Creative_person01, Islamabad, Pakistan
Around 30 houses were destroyed or badly damaged as the two sides exchanged heavy weapons fire, witnesses said.
“The army is fighting well-trained militants. There are linkages with Afghanistan. Many of them are getting money and weapons from across the border,” Arshad said.
There has been a rise in fighting since July when tribal groups in the semi-autonomous region scrapped a peace deal with under which they would have taken greater responsibility for security in return for a withdrawal of Pakistani government forces.
Nearly 300 people have been killed in attacks, mostly suicide bombings, since army commandos stormed a mosque and religious school in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, the same month.
In neighbouring South Waziristan, pro-Taliban fighters have been holding more than 200 Pakistani soldiers since capturing them in late August. They are demanding an end to all military operations in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.