Taliban militants today hit back at the Pakistan Army setting off a roadside bomb which killed seven soldiers and wounded 11 others as Military widened its offensive with fighter jets pounding hideouts adjacent to the lawless Waziristan, killing 15 terrorists.

The militants struck at a paramilitary convoy of frontier corps as it was passing through Khyber region killing seven soldiers and wounding 11, the highest casualties suffered by the security forces in over a month.

The roadside bomb attack came as Pakistani air force jets pounded three hideouts of Tehrik-i-Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud in the Orakzai tribal area killing at least eight militants and wounding several others.

Another air strike 70-kms away in Kurram tribal agency near the Afghan border killed another seven Taliban fighters, officials said.

The air-strikes against other tribal areas outside Waziristan indicated that Army fears that militants are escaping the offensive on their strongholds in the lawless area and making way to other tribal belts.

The Army also kept up the momentum of its advance inching closer to Taliban and foreign militants hubs of Sararogha, Makeen, Ladha and Kaniguram as President Asif Ali Zardari vowed to keep up the offensive till all militants are wiped out.

Speaking to members of his party last night, Mr. Zardari said there was no turning back...until the complete elimination of terrorists, a statement issued by his office said.

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