Thirty-five militants and a soldier have died in fighting in the restive Khyber tribal region of northwest Pakistan during an operation to flush out rebels, the military said on Sunday.

Five soldiers and 15 militants were also injured in clashes over the past two days, the Inter-Services Public Relations said in a brief statement.

Security forces had made “significant gains” over the past three days and cleared key areas of the Maidan region of Khyber Agency.

Troops have also taken “full control” of the strategic Derastani Ridge that overlooks Maidan and Kuki Khel Valley, the statement said.

The operation in the Maidan region was launched after troops cleared Muhammadi Top in Kurram Agency and Haider Kandao in Tirah Valley of Khyber Aegncy.

Security forces also flushed militants out of the heights of Darwazgai Kandao.

The military offensive in Khyber Agency was launched some weeks ago after dozens of Pakistani Taliban fighters entered the tribal district and occupied key areas.

The latest reports of casualties could not be independently verified as journalists are barred from the tribal belt.