Helicopter gunships destroyed a training camp for suicide bombers in Pakistan's Swat Valley, killing six Taliban fighters, an official said on Saturday as scattered violence killed 12 others in the region recently retaken by the army.
The camp's trainees, including teenagers, were responsible for at least three attacks in recent weeks, an army spokesman said.
The air raid on the training facility, located on a small island in the Swat River opposite the town of Charbagh, came on Friday night after local residents tipped off security forces of its location, according to Lt. Col. Akhtar Abbas, the army spokesman in Swat.
Intelligence reports linked the camp to attacks that killed a total of 10 soldiers and civilians this month, he said. Two of the attacks took place last weekend near Mingora, the valley's main town, and another was earlier this month in a more remote area.
"We have been working to find their source, and today we destroyed that source," Abbas told The Associated Press.
The army had declared Charbagh, about 6 miles (10 kilometers) east of Mingora, clear of militants except for small pockets of resistance.
Abbas said another six militants were killed in two separate operations elsewhere in Swat. In one operation, five Taliban fighters were killed, including a close aid to a high-ranking Taliban commander, Shah Doraan.
The officer said military operations were weakening the Taliban, and that many had chosen to turn themselves in rather than fight.
"With every day passing, the noose is being tightened around them, and that's why more and more of them are opting to surrender," Lt. Col. Abbas said.
The army said it had arrested another 11 suspected militants in separate search operations in the region.