Pakistani troops killed 18 terrorists in a fresh offensive Tuesday against terrorists blamed for a wave of recent bombings in the main northwestern city of Peshawar.
The operation in Bara region was the latest salvo in a broadening campaign against al-Qaida and the Taliban in the lawless lands close to the Afghan border since last year.
Maj. Fazlur Rehman, a spokesman for the paramilitary Frontier Corps, said ground troops, helicopters and artillery were being used in the operation in Bara close to Peshawar.
The aim of the assault was to capture mountain heights and strategic locations from the militants who had been attacking Peshawar, he said, adding 18 militants had been killed.
Peshawar and surrounding areas have seen a relentless wave of bombings in recent weeks that have killed more than 150 people. The attacks are apparently aimed at avenging an ongoing, major army operation in South Waziristan, a main militant hub 167 miles (270 kilometers) from Peshawar.