16 militants killed in Pakistan raid

Islamabad: Sixteen pro-Taliban militants were killed in clashes with security forces in Pakistan`s restive tribal belt even as the country`s northwest witnessed a string of violent incidents on Sunday.

Troops killed seven militants and injured over a dozen more during an operation in Azam Warsak area of South Waziristan Agency, TV news channels quoted officials as saying. Nine militants, including a commander, were killed during an operation in Batwar area of Bajaur tribal region, officials said. Troops launched a drive last week to evict militants from the area.

In a separate incident, security forces defused four remote controlled bombs planted by a road near Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan Agency. In the restive Kurram tribal region that has witnessed widespread sectarian violence over the past few years, militants kidnapped five tribesmen.

Two persons were injured when a bomb went off in Landi Kotal area of Khyber Agency while four shops, including one selling CDs, were destroyed in a bomb attack at Mardan in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. There were no casualties in the incident in Mardan, officials said.