Dozens of Islamic militants died in clashes with Pakistani troops, the army said, amid reports that government forces have launched an operation to clear out fighters who overran military positions near the Afghan border earlier this week. Intelligence officials in South Waziristan said soldiers backed by aircraft and artillery had recaptured two small forts on Friday and were continuing their advance through the area, a stronghold of Taliban and al-Qaida. Between 50 and 60 insurgents died when they attacked another fort at the village of Ladha with small-arms fire and rockets, a military statement said. Security forces repelled the attack using mortar and artillery fire. Up to 30 more attackers were killed when they tried to ambush a military convoy near the village of Chakmalai, the army said. Only four troops were wounded, it said.