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    53 militants dead in Tirah battle

    KABUL (PAN): More than 53 militants have been killed and several others wounded in an ongoing clash between two rival groups in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber tribal region, bordering Afghanistan, reports said on Friday.

    Residents are leaving the remote valley of Tirah as a result of the battle that erupted between Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Ansarul Islam (AI) groups late on Thursday, according to private Pakistani TV channels monitored here.

    Geo News quoted unnamed political administration officials as saying both extremist groups were using light and heavy weapons, which had left nearly two dozen TTP fighters dead so. A number of fighters from the outlawed extremist organisations were wounded.

    Sadat Afridi, a spokesman for Ansarul Islam, told Dawn.com that they had seized three TTP bases in Maidan village, and that the fight for a fourth hideout was still going on. His outfit was determined to flush out the rival militants from the valley for attacking mosques and public places, Afridi added.

    PAN Monitor/mud