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Clash between militants and security forces in Pak; 27 militants, 5 soldiers killed

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Peshawar (Nov. 16, 2014): Five Pakistani soldiers and at least 27 militants, including some foreigners, were killed on Sunday in clashes and air strikes in the restive northwestern tribal belt, where the military has launched a major offensive against the Taliban.

Five soldiers, including one officer, were killed and many others injured on Sunday in a clash between militants and security forces in Datakhel area, the Dawn reported.

27 militants, including some of their important commanders and foreigners, were killed in precise aerial strikes in Dattakhel, it said.

Pakistan military launched Khyber-I operation last month against Lashkar-i-Islam (LI) hideouts.

The latest operation was launched amidst Zarb-i-Azb, a full-fledged military operation being conducted by the army against Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other militants in the North Waziristan.

Pakistan Army says it has so far driven out terrorists from "90 per cent" territory of North Waziristan Agency since the start of Operation Zarb-i-Azb in June, the report said.

A total of 1,198 terrorists have been killed and 356 injured since the operation was launched five months ago, said Zarb-i-Azb Military Operation Commander Maj Gen Zafarullah Khan yesterday.

"So far an area of 2,708 square kilometres has been wrested back from the terrorists while the rest will be cleared as early as possible," Khan said.

North Waziristan holds strategic significance for militant groups as they connect the agency to the outskirts of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.