PESHAWAR Taliban fighters stormed a security check post in the tribal belt close to Afghan border killing six Pakistani soldiers and in a fierce battle that ensued 25 militants were also killed, official sources said.

The battle took place in the Aurakzai Agency where security forces have stepped up a drive to flush out militants believed to be sheltering here from a military offensive in the nearby South Waziristan.

The troops have launched a number of raids on the Taliban hideouts for a past 48—hours using heavy artillery and helicopter gunships to target the militants.

Sixtyone militants were killed in these attacks as they targeted a seminary in the area where Taliban commanders were holding a meeting bringing the militants death toll to 86 in the last two days.

The gun battle erupted today when Taliban militants attacked Feroze Khel, a key town in Aurakzai, from four directions.

Lt Col Anwar Abbas was among the soldiers who died in the fire-fight in which six more soldiers were also reported wounded, official sources said.

Security officials believe that Taliban fighters have infiltrated into the Aurakzai Agency after fleeing South Waziristan in the face of the army offensive. The area is considered to be a stronghold of Tehrik—e—Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud, who is believed to have been killed in a drone attack.

A foreign militant was among the 25 rebels killed in today’s skirmish. His body was recovered and brought to the local Frontier Corps headquarters in Kalaya, the sources said.

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