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22 Killed In Fighting In Pakistani Tribal Area Operations

Pakistan's military says at least 19 militants and three soldiers were killed in gunbattles in the restive northwestern tribal areas.

Government forces said they have gained control of strategic heights after clashes with Taliban fighters near the regions of Para Chamkani and Maidan between the tribal areas of Kurram and Khyber.

The death toll could not be independently verified because the remote war zone remains inaccessible to journalists.

The clashes occurred during a newly launched military operation in the strategic Tirah Valley in the Khyber tribal area.

Pakistani government forces are trying to curb the growing strength of the militant Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan and the allied Lashkar-e-Islam militia fighters who threaten the nearby city of Peshawar, capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.

With reporting by AFP