Troops engaged in the operation, which began on September 24, have reported sighting of 10 to 12 bodies of militants but confirmation about the deaths can be made only after the operation ends, an army official said on Thursday.

"The anti-insurgency operation was started on September 24 and contacts were established with the infiltrating militants at multiple points," the official said.

He said that based on the pattern of gunfire exchanged with the militants, their number is believed to be more than 30.

"The mopping up operation is in progress and we expect to clear up the area in next two to three hours," he said.

The official dismissed reports that helicopters were used to target the militants during the operation. "Choppers were only used to airlift the troops from various locations for the operation and not used in the firefight," he added.

Army is also carrying out an anti-infiltration operation in nearby Machhil sector since Wednesday. One militant was killed in a foiled infiltration bid in the sector on September 23.

(Agencies)

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